To lead into the eventual launch of ridesharing services in British Columbia later this year, the provincial government has revealed new regulations for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft.
Regulations include requirements for driver and criminal background checks, prohibition on drivers with four or more pointable convictions within two years, annual vehicle inspections, and extra fees levied on ridesharing cars that are non-accessible.
Insurance is also an important requirement for ridesharing drivers under the new rules. They will have to secure coverage through the Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC). The policy is a blanket, per-kilometre insurance product that offers compulsory, third-party liability and accident benefits. The insurance is designed to apply only when the driver is offering ride-hailing services; in all other instances, the driver’s own basic vehicle insurance takes effect.
“Our plan has made it possible for ride-hailing companies to apply to enter the market this fall, with vehicles on the road later this year, while ensuring the safety of passengers and promoting accessibility options in the industry,” BC Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said in a statement.
Of the various requirements ridesharing drivers need to meet before they can operate in the province, it is the licensing requirement that some in the industry have an issue with. As per the new rules, ridesharing drivers are required to get a Class 4 license – the same type taxi drivers have. Both Uber and Lyft are worried that the commercial license requirement has stricter limitations which can hurt the number of drivers applying to operate.
North Vancouver-Lonsdale MLA Bowinn Ma told NEWS 1130 that the Class 4 requirement is “not negotiable,” and that violators could be fined up to $100,000.
BC will accept applications to operate ridesharing services in the province starting September 03, 2019.