It’s confirmed, the NDP government has proposed a new ride-sharing legislation for the province.
The new Passenger Transportation Amendment Act will allow ride sharing business — like Uber and Lyft — to apply to the Passenger Transportation Board’s (PTB) to operate in B.C. by 2019.
Applications must include data and evidence that demonstrates the applicant is capable, the public has need of their service, and that they would contribute to the community and provincial economy
“This is milestone legislation that gets ride-hailing right for B.C.,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in a press release on Monday.
“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.”
One of the main focuses of the act is safety, both on the road and for passengers. If you were hoping to make a little extra cash as a ride-sharing host, you might want to review your credentials, as a commercial class 4 drivers license is required.
Existing taxi companies already operate on a mandatory class 4 license, and other ride-sharing drivers will have to abide.
This class of license is stricter than the usual class 5, and includes a background check that bans drivers who have a convicted criminal driving offense within the last 3 years, a medical exam, a vehicle inspection, and more.
While some provinces, like Ontario, only require a class 5 equivalent license, B.C.’s requirements are on par with other areas of Canada like Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
In today’s press conference, the Ministry of Transportation estimated that about “15% of the B.C. population have a class 4.”
In regards to pricing, especially relative to taxis, the PB will be in charge of setting fares and operating jurisdictions.
“I think what’s envisioned is a floor and a ceiling. It’s up to the PTB to make those decisions,” said the Ministry of Transportation.
The province hopes that the information gathered by applications, and the first few months of the new act, will help create a data-driven and evidence-based evolution to the new legislation.