Lyft Says ‘Restrictive’ B.C. Ridesharing Rules Not Worth It for Drivers

The British Columbia government announced yesterday its plans to officially launch ride-hailing in the province this September, paving the way for companies like Lyft and Uber to take on the taxi industry.

However, with rules requiring ride-hailing drivers to hold a Class 4 commercial driver’s license, supporters of ridesharing are denouncing regulations as “excessive red tape and bureaucracy”, according to Ian Tostenson, with Ridesharing Now For B.C., reports CBC News.

According to Tostenson, he says the level playing field seen to put ride-hailing drivers on par with cab drivers is “slowing down the process of people being able to be become a ride-share driver,” and “playing into the hands of the taxi industry.”

Class 4 licenses will require more fees, road tests, criminal record checks, doctor medical exam and driving record checks.

“The amount of time and money they would need to expend to become a driver, it just becomes not worth it for them anymore,”  said Aaron Zifkin, managing director for Lyft Canada.

“You get a population of drivers that are only full-time commercial drivers,” added Zifkin.

Other jurisdictions that also require a Class 4 commercial license? Alberta and New York in the U.S.

“By putting in a Class 4 regulatory regime, we’re not going to have the number of drivers or the type of drivers that are critical to making these marketplaces work,” said Zifkin.

As for Uber, the company said it would review the new regulations.

“We will review the information and evaluate how they may impact our ability to provide British Columbians with the same ride-sharing experience they already enjoy in cities across North America,” said Michael van Hemmen from Uber Canada.

The province will start accepting applications from ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft beginning on September 3, while final regulations kick into effect on September 16, 2019.