British Columbia to drivers: ride-sharing services still hasn’t been legalized

Drivers can be fined $1,150 if they're identified as operating a ride-sharing cab

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The Government of British Columbia is reminding drivers and passengers that ride-sharing is still technically illegal in the province.

According to a January 29th, 2018 media release, any driver who accepts passengers through ride-sharing apps in the province is operating illegally and is subject to “penalties and fines” of $1,150 CAD.

“It is important that drivers providing commercial transportation services through these social media apps understand they are assuming all of the risk related to providing the service,” reads an excerpt from the January 29th release. “It is the driver, not the app companies, that are operating illegally and are subject to penalties and fines of $1,150.”

The province singled out Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare as companies that “have been recruiting drivers to operate their personal vehicles as commercial passenger-directed vehicles on the Lower Mainland.”

The British Columbia government has issued 20 cease-and-desist orders, as well as 23 fines of $1,150 to “drivers identified as operating without a license.”

U.S.-based ride-sharing giant Uber is currently attending talks with provincial regulators looking to legalize ride-sharing services in the province.

Interesting to note is that British Columbia’s January 29th media release lends some insight into what the province might be expecting from any tech company looking to disrupt taxi services.

According to the release, provincial and municipal regulation currently requires “a reqular, government-approved safety inspection of the vehicle; insurance that will cover the carrying of paying passengers; and a police background check for drivers.”

British Columbia is expected to publish a formal report on ride-sharing in the province, on February 15th, 2018.

Until the report is published — and until provincial legislators pass a bill — the British Columbia government will no doubt continue reminding drivers and passengers that hailing cabs through ride-sharing apps is a punishable offence.

Source: Government of British Columbia

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