Ride hailing is operating in Toronto and other North American cities, but B.C. hasn’t licensed any services yet. (Flickr)

Ride hailing is operating in Toronto and other North American cities, but B.C. hasn’t licensed any services yet. (Flickr)

B.C. MLAs call for no caps, no boundaries for ride hailing drivers

Minister Claire Trevena says Class 4 licence requirement will stay

Ride hailing services in B.C. should not be held back by imposed geographic boundaries and caps on how many vehicles can participate, an all-party committee of MLAs has recommended to the provincial government.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says she is open to considering taking off regional driver caps and boundaries, restrictions similar to taxi service that were imposed with changes to the Passenger Transportation Board licensing system the NDP government has put in place.

Trevena spoke Tuesday after the MLA committee released its report, built on submissions from taxi and ride hailing companies as well as other interested parties. She said the Class 4 commercial driver’s licence is in place for ride hailing in Alberta, and it’s a safety requirement that will be kept in place as ride hailing companies are licensed by the end of this year.

Premier John Horgan later agreed with the commercial licence requirement and said he expects services will be operating in B.C. before the end of 2019.

After delaying the licensing of smartphone app-based service and enabling an increase in taxi licences, the NDP government passed legislation last fall limiting the number of drivers and where they can operate. The legislation also requires drivers to obtain a Class 4 commercial licence like taxi and bus drivers.

B.C. Liberal MLAs on the committee said a majority on the committee recommended against the licence restriction. Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux, the deputy chair of the committee, said the restriction will prevent part-time drivers, particularly women, from entering the ride hailing market.

Cadieux said the NDP’s effort to get taxis into the market first with an app called Kater that is rolling out in the Lower Mainland is not going to meet the flexible demand of drivers and customers.

“Kater is lipstick on a pig,” Cadieux said. “It is not ride hailing.”

READ MORE: B.C. taxi app set to launch before ride hailing allowed

READ MORE: Business group says B.C. model looks like taxi expansion

B.C. Liberal MLA Jas Johal said more taxis may be licensed in large urban areas, but only true ride hailing services such as Lyft and Uber can reach into smaller communities around B.C.

“This is about Terrace, it’s about Kitimat,” Johal said.

Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s representative for Western Canada, said the recommendations to remove driver caps and geographical restrictions on trips would bring Vancouver into the same league as Calgary, Toronto and Seattle, which have had ride hailing operating for some time.

“Uber is encouraged that the report’s recommendations reflect the expert advice put forward by the province’s own consultant, Translink and others,” van Hemmen said. “Now is the time to finalize ride sharing regulations and have ICBC make a ride sharing insurance product.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureride hailing

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Amy Newman follows the route of the Cariboo Waggon Road — now Highway 97 — through Clinton. (Photo credit: New Pathways to Gold Society)
Grant received for Cariboo Waggon Road restoration project north of Clinton

New Pathways to Gold hopes to start work this summer on restoring sections of historic road

Dan Cumming (l, with Lisa Colwell, LPN) was one of 1,918 people who received their first COVID-19 vaccine at a community clinic in Ashcroft in early May. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Vaccine clinics in Ashcroft, Clinton administered 2,664 first doses

Residents over the age of 18 are still eligible to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine

(from l) Ashcroft councillor Deb Tuohey, mayor Barbara Roden, and councillor Nadine Davenport at the opening of Ashcroft’s new water treatment plant in November 2019. At a recent town hall meeting, council said there are no immediate plans to install water meters in the village. (Photo credit: Christopher Roden)
Ashcroft homeowners face 2.5 per cent property tax bump in 2021

Village is moving ahead with variety of projects, but water metering not on the list of priorities

(from l) Cache Creek councillor Annette Pittman, mayor Santo Talarico, and councillors Wendy Coomber and Sue Peters at a budget meeting, May 7, 2021. (Photo credit: Facebook)
Cache Creek budget bylaws pass with one councillor opposed

Annette Pittman cites several reasons for voting against 30% tax increase and pool closure

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

Most Read