Rural B.C. Communities Worry Class 4 Licenses Will Limit Ridesharing Drivers

More rural communities in British Columbia, despite wanting ride hailing services desperately, are also worried that the province’s requirements will discourage many potential drivers.

According to a new report from The Globe and Mail, the strict licence requirements could potentially discourage potential drivers, leaving more suburban and rural communities with little or no ridesharing services.

“We’re frustrated,” said Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart during a forum at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this week dedicated to the new ride-hailing rules. “We know if we supply-manage this, the suburbs will have less-than-optimal coverage. We think we’re going to end up with just professional drivers [getting licences] and then heading downtown.”

Stewart has organized a petition to be sent to the provincial government, “asking that the drivers licence requirement for ride-hailing drivers be changed from the current Class 4 needed for taxis, smaller buses and ambulances to something less prohibitive,” reads the report.

Class 4 licence applicants need to pass strict criminal record checks, demonstrate they have no medical conditions that might affect their ability to drive safely, and be in possession of a driving record with less than four penalty points in the past two years.

Stewart thinks that a Class 5 licence — those required by the province for regular drivers — is sufficient for potential ridesharing drivers.

Read the entire article over at The Globe and Mail.