Ride-hailing services are one step closer to becoming a reality in our province. On Monday, the BC government announced that they will start accepting ride-hailing applications this summer.
Companies will be able to apply to the Passenger Transportation Board by the beginning of September 2019.
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“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”, said Claire Trevena of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
The government’s regulations for ride-hailing focus on company and driver safety and are intended to provide a framework for what companies can expect in advance of applying to the Passenger Transportation Board.
In June, Trevena wrote to the chair of the Passenger Transportation Board, promoting flexibility in the board’s decisions around boundaries, supply and fares. In addition, the minister also reconfirmed a minimum Class 4 licence will be required for drivers to be accepted.
The Passenger Transportation Board will begin accepting applications from companies seeking to provide commercial ride-hailing in B.C. effective Sept. 3, 2019. The board will also decide the supply, boundaries, and fares charged to passengers.
To promote accessibility for all British Columbians, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is introducing a new “per-trip” fee to fund accessibility programs in the industry.
Newly passed regulations will allow both rear entry and side entry accessible taxis and ride-hailing vehicles, so people with disabilities are supported and have more options to get around.
As for insurance, ICBC will have its new insurance product ready for the launch of ride-hailing in September. The ride-hailing industry in BC will use a blanket, per kilometre insurance product providing compulsory, third-party liability and accident benefits.
Furthermore, it’ll apply when the driver is providing ride-hailing services, with the driver’s own basic vehicle insurance policy applying in all other instances.
In total, all regulations will come into effect on September 16th, 2019.
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