B.C. provincial government cracks down on illegal ride-hailing services

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      The province is running after providers of ride-hailing services that are not yet allowed in B.C.

      According to a media release by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Passenger Transportation Branch has so far issued 20 cease-and-desist orders against operators.

      The ministry also noted in the release Monday (January 29) that the agency has issued 23 fines of $1,150 against drivers.

      “Several companies operating under the names Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare have developed ride-sourcing apps,” according to the ministry. “These companies have been recruiting drivers to operate their personal vehicles as commercial passenger-directed vehicles on the Lower Mainland.”

      The province has yet to change legislation to allow ride-hailing services to operate legally in B.C.

      The more popular services are Uber and Lyft.

      In the election last year, the B.C. NDP pledged in its platform a “level playing field” for providers of transportation services.

      The taxi industry has called for a “made in B.C.” model in providers riders more options.

      The B.C. NDP government is expected to introduce legislation concerning the taxi industry and ride-hailing in the fall.

      In the media release, the transportation and infrastructure ministry noted that “drivers providing commercial transportation services through these social media apps understand they are assuming all of the risk related to providing the service”.

      “It is the driver, not the app companies, that are operating illegally and are subject to penalties and fines of $1,150,” the ministry stated. “These drivers are subject to possible further sanctions for not disclosing the commercial use of their vehicles to lease and insurance providers.”