Let's bring ridesharing services all across British Columbia!

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Uber and Lyft vehicles are on the road in some Metro Vancouver cities after receiving provincial permits on Thursday, January 24th.

Michael Van Hemmen, Uber’s head of Western Canada operations mentioned the following: “We’re hoping to launch in multiple municipalities at once, but given some of the restrictions on Class 4 (driver’s licences), don’t expect that we’ll be able to cover all of Metro Vancouver on Day 1 – but hopefully quickly thereafter”.

Despite the good news, some municipalities in Metro Vancouver are experiencing driver shortage due to the Class 4 license restriction on ridesharing drivers, suggested by the NDP government.

The Class 4 license restriction delays the availability of drivers, forces British Columbians to be stranded again and bring us the worst version of rideshare possible with less part time drivers and less availability of competition like Lyft to Uber. This is disappointing and in fact, embarrassing for BC.

As we learned about these new requirements, we began to think of the following questions:

1.       Why does Operation Red Nose or Social Service employees (child passengers) not require Class 4 license?

2.       How is it safe that some taxi drivers talk on their phones as they drive passengers?

According to information from ICBC representatives, the approximate timeframe to obtain a Class 4 license can range between 3 to 6 months or even longer. The main factors that can delay the process are:

1.    If you are a new immigrant to Canada, or if you are from a different province within Canada,

2.    ICBC availability to book your road test, or

3.    Studying all the necessary chapters of 280-page knowledge test book which requires intimate knowledge of trucking and driving ambulances.

In addition to the application process, applicants may be required to complete preparation courses where prices can vary from $500 up to $2,000.

Our government has added this nonsensical restriction to “level the playing field” with the taxi association which desperately needs a free and fair competitive market. 

We believe that some of the taxi drivers on the road today would see a decline in customers within two weeks if there was a review/rating system in place, such as the “rate your driver” options available on rideshare apps.

Studies and statistics available to us show that most people who work for rideshare companies are part-time drivers looking to make supplemental income as the cost for insurance and vehicle maintenance can be costly if driving on a full-time basis.

The Class 4 license restriction is meant to deter part-time drivers from working for ridesharing companies. It is too onerous and expensive to acquire a commercial driver’s license, and therefore, limiting the availability of ridesharing in general in other areas than Metro Vancouver.

Please share our petition and help us spread the awareness about the reality of the politics and games surrounding this issue. Start the discussion with your friends, family, and fellow community members.

British Columbians deserve accessible, affordable and reliable means of transportation.

Let’s ensure that rideshare services experience a fair and free market. It’s time to stop protecting the taxi association and masking it with theses unnecessary requirements.

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