B.C. ride-hailing report makes 32 recommendations to pave way for regulations

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By The Canadian Press, Times Colonist

Feb 15th, 2018 – Ride-hailing is on its way to British Columbia after the online services received the unanimous support of an all-party committee of the legislature on Thursday.

The committee made 32 recommendations to help pave the way for introducing and regulating ride-hailing.

Committee chairwoman Bowinn Ma of the NDP said the recommendations balance the importance of developing regulations that encompass fairness, consumer protection and worker rights in a constantly changing economy.

The report highlights five key areas that need to be considered when establishing regulations for the industry including pricing, insurance, licensing, and public safety. The government should also consider the impact the introduction of ride-hailing companies will have on B.C. communities, it says.

As well, the committee recommended updating legislation that regulates the taxi industry to “allow for equitable and fair competition.”

The report comes ahead of a government review due later this year from transportation industry expert Dan Hara, who was asked to provide recommendations for the creation of a ride-hailing service.

The committee held public hearings and invited testimony from 67 expert witnesses, including representatives from ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.

The committee says the Insurance Bureau of British Columbia should create insurance products for ride-hailing and prescribe minimum insurance levels “that reflect the risks associated with using a vehicle for mixed personal and commercial purposes.”

It makes recommendations on license requirements for drivers including medical exams and criminal record checks. The committee also wants vehicles used for ride-hailing to undergo mandatory inspections based on their mileage.

A coalition of organizations that supports ride-hailing issued a statement backing the report.

“It’s great to see all parties supporting ride-sharing options that would provide choice for passengers,” said Ian Tostenson of Ridesharing Now for B.C. “We are encouraged by today’s report and look forward to the NDP government moving forward on this file in 2018.

Read the whole article at the Times Colonist here: http://www.timescolonist.com/b-c-ride-hailing-report-makes-32-recommendations-to-pave-way-for-regulations-1.23175463