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Number of illegal ride-share drivers, 'taxis' caught in Vancouver police sting operation

Police found several illegal taxi operators and "repeat offenders."
Vancouver Police Department's Traffic Section found a number of illegal ride-share operators, including four drivers operating as a taxi and several repeat offenders, in sting operations in January, 2023.

The number of illegal ride-share operators has increased in Vancouver over recent months. 

Multiple drivers were found offering rides without appropriate licensing, permits, or commercial vehicle inspections, Vancouver Police Department (VPD) spokesperson Sgnt. Steve Addison tells V.I.A.

"Many of these illegal operators are using various apps, but without the appropriate licensing and qualifications, anyone offering rides for remuneration is breaking the law," says Addison. 

On Jan. 5, police officers went undercover and posed as passengers seeking rides in order to identify illegal ride hail operators. Four drivers were found operating as a taxi.

Police found several "repeat offenders" in a similar investigation that took place two weeks later.

Fines for illegal ride-share drivers can be costly.Drivers can expect to pay:

  • $1,150 for operating a vehicle without a passenger transportation license
  • $357 for using their car as a ride-share vehicle if the car has not been commercially inspected
  • $276 ticket for operating a ride-share vehicle without a class 4 license

The VPD reminds locals booking a ride-share to use a legal app or website that shows information about the vehicle's make, model, and license plate, as well as a photo and name of the driver.