The B.C. government says the Passenger Transportation Board will start accepting applications as of Sept. 3 in order to have the service in place this fall.
ICBC says it will offer a blanket, per kilometer insurance product and will only apply when a driver is offering the service. All other regulations will come into force on Sept. 16, which means ride-hailing is a go once the PTB approves applications.
PTB will need to consider appropriate operating areas, fleet sizes, and rates.
Other regulations announced via a government release include requiring drivers to have criminal and driver record checks. Those operating illegal services could be fined up to $100,000 a day. A 30-cent “per-trip” fee is also being added to help fund programs to increase accessibility.
The regulations released today come after a number of studies and consultations into the issue of ride-hailing.
Earlier this year, a legislature committee issued recommendations including there be no boundaries or limits on how many ride-hailing vehicles are allowed on the road. The committee also suggested the minimum cost for ride-hailing needs to be more than the cost of taking transit.
Another recommendation – that drivers be required to hold a Class 5 license was previously rejected by the minister.
In June, a report from B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board found there was a “public need and desire for ride hailing.”
In 2017, the NDP government commissioned Dan Hara to speak to the taxi industry and stakeholders about how to move forward.
Parties have fielded the issue as a political hot potato for years. The Liberals, in power for 16 years failed to introduce regulations and the NDP broke a promise to bring in ride sharing by the end of 2017. Observers and critics accuse politicians to bowing to the taxi lobby and refusing to alienate voters in key battlegrounds like Surrey.
An overview of the regulations provided by the government follows. Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here for a compatible version.