Victoria: Legislation introduced Nov. 19, by the provincial government will allow ride-hailing companies to enter the B.C. market next year, while putting priority on safety for passengers.
“This is milestone legislation that gets ride-hailing right for B.C.,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “British Columbians absolutely want more options and flexibility in how they get around, but with checks in place to make sure their ride is a safe one.”
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.
A new, legislative committee will review these changes as regulations are put in place to make sure government is on the right track with modern, safe taxi and ride-hailing service.
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.
With these legislative changes, government expects applications from ride-hailing companies wanting to enter the market will be submitted to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) by fall 2019.
Earlier this year, the Province adopted a suite of recommendations to modernize the taxi industry, including giving the industry the flexibility to discount fares when trips are booked through an app, and boost the number of cabs throughout B.C. to give people more rides.