Our government has announced that ride hailing companies will be allowed to apply for licensing from the Passenger Transportation Board on September 3, 2019. If you are interested in becoming a driver for one of these services it would be wise to begin your planning now as you will require a class 4 driver's licence, criminal record check, driving record check, a current vehicle inspection and extra insurance from ICBC.
Of interest in this legislation change is the removal of seatbelt exemptions for drivers of all vehicles for hire and the application of the National Safety Code to those drivers.
From the current press release:
Putting safety first by maintaining a Class 4 licence requirement
No changes are required under the Motor Vehicle Act. Government will require all ride-hail drivers and taxis to hold a commercial Class 4 driver licence. Drivers must have a B.C. issued driver’s licence to drive a taxi, limo or ride-hail vehicle.<
Keeping passengers safe by requiring a provincial record check
Drivers will require criminal and driver record checks. A driver cannot have four or more pointable convictions within two years or any serious driving infractions within a three-year timeframe.
Tougher penalties under the Passenger Transportation Act
Illegal operators can face fines of up to $100,000 per day. The registrar has the authority to issue administrative penalties up to $50,000 to licensed operators who fail to meet regulatory obligations. Seven new record check related offences have also been created.
Safe companies, safer drivers
The company or licensee is responsible for conducting a review of the driver and issuing a record check certificate for those drivers who meet provincial requirements. The company or licensee is also responsible for hiring and monitoring drivers, reducing fatigue through adherence to hours of service requirements and ensuring vehicles are mechanically sound and safe to operate.
A new 30 cent “per-trip” fee for non-accessible ride-hailing vehicles is being established to support funding for accessibility programs. New regulations will allow for accessible vehicles with side entry as well as rear entry that will provide more choice for the disability community.
Drivers of taxis and ride-hail vehicles will be required to conduct an annual inspection if the vehicle has logged 40,000 kilometres or less in the previous year. A semi-annual inspection will be required if vehicles log more than 40,000 kilometres or more in the previous year. Ride-hail vehicles cannot be older than 10 years to operate.
New insurance options
ICBC will sell a blanket insurance product directly to the ride hailing company (or facilitated through a broker to the ride hailing company). The rate for this blanket product will be based on kilometres driven. Both the ride hailing company and vehicle owners will have the choice to purchase additional optional coverage, such as collision and comprehensive coverage, to extend while providing ride-hailing services.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance
This new product provides an option for peer-to-peer rental companies to purchase insurance coverage on behalf of vehicle owners who rent their vehicles through a peer-to-peer platform. ICBC’s peer-to-peer blanket insurance product will be available to peer-to-peer companies on Sept. 16, 2019. Insurance rates for this new insurance product will use a daily rate.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) platform
Rental companies are companies that connect renters and vehicle owners through an online platform. Peer-to-peer companies that purchase the new peer-to-peer blanket insurance product will provide peace of mind for vehicle owners who connect with renters via their online platform. Renters will benefit by knowing that the vehicle they are renting is appropriately insured. The peer-to-peer company and vehicle owner also have the choice to purchase additional optional coverage, such as collision and comprehensive coverage. Anyone considering renting their vehicle through a peer-to-peer platform is encouraged to contact their insurance broker for more information.
The government can only fight against Uber and other ride-hailing services for so long.
It's good to see them setting up proper licensing and insurance requirements. Far better for them to be in control of the situation, in order to protect the public.