NEWS - Legislation Introduced to Permit Ride Hailing

New BC LogoThe government has announced the introduction of legislation to permit ride hailing in B.C. The expectation is to begin accepting applications from ride hailing companies in the fall of 2019.

If passed, the Passenger Transportation Amendment Act will enable:

  • ICBC to develop a modern insurance product for ride-hailing for fall of 2019.
  • A new, data-driven approach to improve taxi service and ride-hailing opportunities, particularly at high-demand locations and peak times, by strengthening the Passenger Transportation Board’s authority to determine fares, vehicle supply and operating areas.
  • The development of measures to make sure people are not left stranded when traveling from one municipality to another.
  • The inclusion of a per-trip fee to fund more accessibility options for people with disabilities.
  • Increased enforcement of the rules with stiffer penalties for taxi and ride-hailing companies for working outside the law.

In drafting the Passenger Transportation Amendment Act, government’s priority was to make sure British Columbians are safer on the roads, and will be requiring all ride-hailing and taxi drivers to maintain a Class 4 passenger licence and undergo mandatory criminal checks.

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Class 4 required?

It's about time. Otherwise, any goofball can do it.

Frankly, I think the C4 with Restriction 17 (the taxi driver license) is absurd. If you're licensed to drive passengers, you should be able to walk the walk - and drive a bus properly. Same thing for paramedics, driving ambulances, incidentally. Those vehicles are the same size and have the same issues as small passenger buses, and it doesn't matter that they're designed for stretchers and medical equipment instead of 10+ passenger seats.

The regulations should not kow-tow to the immigrant populations, and their sometimes limited abilities. Yeah, I know, this is an utterly non-PC point of view. But that's a large part of the problem, from my perception.

Taxis are not buses

Requiring a driver to get a driving licence for a 24 passenger bus when they are only going to be driving a hired car makes little logical sense. It you want to collapse license classes and sub-classes why stop there?

That's a fair question!

But on the other hand, how does merely owning a vehicle and a mobile phone qualify you to transport passengers safely, with adequate insurance, as a business?

Because that's where this is at.

Logical sense.

I take your point.

However, it's typical for drivers testing at the Class 4 Unrestricted level to do so, not on a 24-passenger size vehicle, but a 14-passenger size van; and they're not so different in size from the 10-passenger size cabs we see so many of on the road these days, or many of those stretch limos which, like ambulances, can be driven on a C4 Restricted license. And when you consider the poor driving behaviour demonstrated by many taxi drivers I think a good argument can be made for requiring a tougher standard in terms of demonstrating the abilities necessary (particularly mirror use and observation skills when turning or reversing) for all vehicles covered by the license category, rather than the lowest common demoninator.

As for the subject behind this thread, I actually don't think that owning a car and a cellphone necessarily qualifies anybody to operate and carry passengers for hire, without being properly regulated under the Passenger Transportation Board. There should be minimum standards for all professional drivers, and this must include not just licensing, but vehicle maintenance and insurance coverage.

We're seeing this growing trend of companies - including courier outfits, incidentally - offering 'jobs' to drivers who simply have a vehicle and a cellphone. And that's just not good enough!

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