Committee studying ridesharing in B.C. to release report by end of March

The legislative committee studying the future of companies like Uber and Lyft in British Columbia is going to release its report at the end of March.

Global News reported that the committee is set to put forward recommendations to the transport minister Claire Trevena’s office regarding how the province can implement ridesharing.

Trevena announced the legislation in November 2018 and said that companies could begin operating in the province sometime by the end of this year. The B.C. NDP government has been criticized for delaying this legislation since it was first announced as part of Premier John Horgan’s 2017 election pledge.

Vancouver is currently one of Canada’s largest cities that doesn’t have any legal ride-sharing options.

The committee in charge of studying the legislation was tasked with figuring out what can be done about regional boundaries, the number of cars ridesharing companies are able to operate, the cost of trips and the class of licence required by drivers.

One of the biggest concerns the committee had was surrounding the issue of drivers needing a Class 4 licence. In the province, a Class 4 licence is needed by drivers who operate commercial vehicles. The licence can be used to drive buses with seating for 25 people, taxis and limousines, and ambulances.

To get this type of licence, drivers are required to pay extra fees and be tested. The committee told Global News that it plans to introduce ridesharing services this fall and defended the requirement of needing a Class 4 licence.

“When people use taxis or ridesharing services they need to know the driver has a clean record and their ride is safe,” the Ministry of Transportation told Global News.

Uber and Lyft have voiced its concerns with this requirement saying that casual drivers won’t take the time or spend the money to get a new licence.

Liberals that are part of the committee suggest drivers could drive using a Class 5 licence, which is a regular passenger vehicle licence, but would additionally be required to have a criminal background check, be flagged if they have driving convictions and vehicles would be required to have mechanical checks.

Source: Global News