The legislative committee, that was asked to put forward recommendations to Transportation Minister Claire Trevena on how to implement ridesharing in British Columbia, has finally wrapped up its work and is now planning to release the report publicly by the end of March (via Global News).
Chaired by Bowinn Ma, the committee was tasked with looking at four specific issues i.e. determining regional boundaries, the flexibility of pricing, the number of ridesharing vehicles allowed to operate, and most importantly, the class of licence required for ride-sharing drivers.
It appears that the requirement of drivers to have a Class 4 licence has become a major concern among the committee members. Both Lyft and Uber have also raised concerns to the committee about the licence restrictions. They say that casual drivers will not take the time or spend the money to get a Class 4 licence.
For those who unaware, a Class 4 licence is a commercial licence that can be used to drive buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons, drive taxis and limousines and drive ambulances, on top of driving any Class 5 licence. To get a Class 4 licence drivers must pay additional fees and get tested.
Currently, all taxi drivers in British Columbia are required to have a Class 4 licence. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation has said that the province is still committed to introducing ridesharing in the fall, while defended the Class 4 licence requirement.