Ride-sharing Services Coming to B.C.
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government says ride-sharing services like Uber will be coming to B.C. by this December.
Transportation Minister Todd Stone and Minister Responsible for Translink Peter Fassbender confirmed the news at a press conference in Vancouver today.
The provincial government plans to introduce a series of improvements to help the taxi industry modernize and remain competitive in response to the change.
Those improvements include:
- New app-based technology: The Province will invest up to $1 million to help the taxi industry develop an app with the capability of shared dispatch to allow the taxi sector provincewide to better compete with new entrants to the market
- Crash prevention technology: ICBC will invest up to $3.5 million in the taxi sector to install crash avoidance technology in all B.C. taxis.
- Exclusive rights to street hailing for taxis: Taxis will retain exclusive rights to be hired by phone, at a taxi stand or flagged down at the curb.
- Open up taxi supply: The Province will work with municipalities to address the current shortage of taxis and vehicles for hire.
In addition to these improvements, the Province will require the same safety standards for both taxis and ride-sharing providers in order to protect the public and drivers. As part of this, Class 4 licenses will be phased out for taxi drivers and taxi and ride-sharing companies will be responsible for maintaining records that prove:
- All drivers have an unrestricted driver’s license (no graduated license) and are at least 19 years old.
- All drivers must have a criminal record check for past convictions of violent or sexual offenses as well as other offences.
- All drivers have passed a safe driving record check.
- Vehicles have passed regular mechanical inspections.
The government says the proposed improvements are the result of extensive feedback and consultation with stakeholders throughout the province.
Beginning this summer, the Province will seek additional input from taxi drivers, the ride-sharing and taxi industries, police, airports, municipalities, ICBC and RoadSafety B.C.
Uber Canada welcomed today’s announcement and released the following statement:
“From Vancouver to Victoria, Kelowna to Prince George, British Columbians want and need access to more safe, affordable, reliable transportation options across the province. Today’s announcement is a step forward by the provincial government and we’re encouraging all parties in British Columbia to commit to bringing forward progressive regulations that embrace ridesharing in 2017.”