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New B.C. ride-hailing operators could have to take driver-training courses

In addition to criminal record checks for ride-hailing service drivers, the province will be able to order driver training where needed.


In addition to criminal record checks for ride-hailing service drivers, the province will be able to order driver training where needed, Union of B.C. Municipalities annual conference delegates heard Sept. 24.

“There are different needs in different parts of the province,” said Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure senior legislative director Jeremy Wood. “There is different training in different parts of the province.”

The news comes as the Passenger Transportation Board considers 44 applications for ride-hailing services for five areas of the province.

Langley City Coun. Paul Albrecht said the coming of ride-hailing by the end of the year means the opportunity to supplement existing transportation in urban areas and the ability to fill voids in more rural regions.

What will be different for municipalities is that they will no longer control chauffeur licences currently governing passenger-directed transportation. They will, however, have authority over issuing business licences, speed zone bylaws and over where drop-off, pickups and car-stopping areas may be.

Municipalities will also control inter-community business licences governing how services work between communities. And, delegates heard, when there are varying regimes, the more strict one will prevail. Municipalities will also be able to decide if vehicles can use bus lanes.

Criminal record checks for drivers will consider outstanding charges and convictions. Companies will be expected to do screening of checks.

Wood said a driver cannot have outstanding criminal charges or have convictions for any “egregious offences” such as sexual assault, homicide or attempted homicide at any time.

Drivers could also be prohibited for having four or more points on their licence or an administrative licence suspension or a roadside prohibition for something like driving while intoxicated in the past three years.

Drivers denied eligibility to drive by their company can appeal to the government but the onus would be on the driver to show their record would not affect their ability to drive,

Record checks would have to be carried in vehicles and be produced for police when requested.

Passenger Transportation Branch registrar and director Michelle Jaggi-Smith said companies will be required to submit data to the branch for analysis to determine future needs.

Such data could include drivers, vehicles used, trip metrics, start and end GPS coordinates, trip durations, distance travelled and total fare.

She said such data could also be used in other transportation and infrastructure planning.