THE Passenger Transportation Board announced on Thursday that it has completed its review of four additional applications from ride-hailing companies and approved Uber Canada Inc. and Lyft Canada Inc. to operate in the Lower Mainland and Whistler.
The Board has declined to approve the application of ReRyde Technologies Inc. to operate in the Capital Regional District (CRD), Vancouver Island (excluding CRD) and the Okanagan-Kootenays-Cariboo region.
The Board has also declined to approve the application of Kater Technologies Inc. to operate in the Lower Mainland, Whistler, Capital Regional District, Vancouver Island (excluding CRD), the Okanagan-Kootenays-Cariboo region, and BC North Central and other regions of BC.
The Board said that the decisions were made after a careful review of the extensive materials received during the application process which included supporting information provided by the applicants and submissions from interested members of the public and stakeholders.
It added that the Registrar has been directed to issue licences to Uber Canada Inc. and Lyft Canada Inc. The next steps for the approved applicants after receiving licences from the Registrar are to secure appropriate motor vehicle insurance and to work with municipalities in their operating areas to ensure compliance with local by-laws.
The Board said it has received a total of 29 ride hailing applications to date and with Thursday’s announcement it has issued decisions on six of them. The Board is in the process of reviewing pending applications and is working towards issuing further decisions on ride hailing applications as expeditiously as possible.
It said the review process is taking time because of the large number of applications that have been filed and the significant volume of materials involved. The Board will notify the public as soon as additional decisions have been made.
CLAIRE Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said that the government is committed to work with both the ride-hail and taxi industries to address outstanding areas in the coming months and futures issues as they arise.
She added: “We will continue to support a passenger transportation industry that gets people safely where they need to go and ensures sustainable livelihoods for drivers.”
Trevana said in a statement: “British Columbians have been asking for new ride hailing services since 2012, but the old government failed to get it done. Our government did the hard work and delivered.
“Over the last two years, our government has been diligent in developing a framework that puts passenger safety first, and we remained steadfast against pressures to abandon the safety measures we put in place. Road users can now be confident that B.C.’s ride-hailing services will comply with some of the highest safety standards in North America.
“Since September 2019, the Passenger Transportation Board has been reviewing applications from 29 ride-hail companies and submissions from stakeholders. In the board’s decisions, it has committed to closely monitoring fleet sizes and minimum pricing to avoid potential impacts on traffic congestion and to ensure adequate incomes for drivers.”
* In fall 2018, the provincial government passed the Passenger Transportation Amendment Act permitting ride-hailing companies to apply to the Passenger Transportation Board to enter the B.C. market in a way that protects passenger safety.
* Subsequent regulations require ride-hail drivers to hold a Class 4 driver’s licence and undergo a vulnerable sector check – the most stringent type of police information check.
* On December 12, 2019, the TransLink Mayor’s Council endorsed an inter-municipal business licence in order to have ride-hailing companies obtain a single licence to be able to operate across Metro Vancouver.
* Government is committed to working with both ride-hail and taxi companies to address concerns moving forward.