Ride-hailing legislation introduced by B.C. government

  • Ride-hailing legislation introduced by B.C. government

Ride-hailing legislation introduced by B.C. government

The B.C. government introduced legislation Monday to allow ride-hailing in the province by sometime in 2019.

"We commend the Government of British Columbia for using a data-driven approach and for expanding the Passenger Transportation Board's authority to determine fares and prevent the kind of price-gouging we have seen done by some worldwide players", said TappCar spokesperson Pascal Ryffel in an email to iPhone in Canada.

British Columbia's government has introduced long-awaited legislation that will pave the way for ride-hailing services in the province.

"We are limited by insurance", Trevena told a news conference. "Nobody's going to be on the road until there is an insurance product that works for them", she said.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says the government's bill strikes a balance between meeting consumer demand and protecting public safety.

Trevena said the independent tribunal will also have the authority to set rates and determine the number and coverage areas of the services.

The province has appointed a special committee to "review and make recommendations on the effectiveness of the changes" outlined in the new act as they are rolled out.

According to ICBC, a driver wanting a Class 4 must be age 19 or older, have a Class 5 licence or out-of-province equivalent, have a clean driving record, have no outstanding fines or debts to ICBC and must undergo a medical exam.

Michael van Hemmen, Uber's general manager of cities for Western Canada, said he has no idea why the province decided to make a Class 4 licence a requirement for ride-hailing drivers, particularly when other provinces allow people to use their regular licences.

"Timelines are a big question to British Columbians", he said outside the legislature.

Trevena says the experience of other jurisdictions has been used to develop British Columbia's legislation, which is aimed at preventing gridlock, maintaining ridership on public transit, and reducing accidents caused by unsafe or inexperienced drivers. On the other hand, taxi and ride-hailing drivers won't need separate chauffeur permits for each city they drive in.

During the last provincial election campaign, the NDP pledged to bring in ride-hailing legislation by the end of 2017.

Opposition Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said the government's ride-hailing proposal does more to stall the service than bring it forward.

In Ontario, ride-hailing drivers are required to have only a Class G licence, which is the standard driver's licence.

The report highlighted five key areas that needed to be considered when establishing regulations for the industry including pricing, insurance, licensing, and public safety.

"The regulatory structure that would enable true ride-sharing has yet to be seen and it is unfortunate that B.C. will be without ride-sharing for yet another year", Lyft said in the email.