An all-party government committee has unanimously supported a province-wide plan for the introduction of ride-hailing services in British Columbia.
According to a new report from CTV, the panel, which was made up of MLAs from the NDP, Green and Liberal parties, released a list of 32 recommendations Thursday, a month after a three-day hearing from experts and the public.
These recommendations balance the importance of developing regulations that include fairness, consumer protection, and worker’s rights in a constantly changing economy, says NDP committee chairwoman Bowinn Ma.
The plan suggests a provincial licensing program which include a requirement for ride-hailing company drivers to submit a driving history report, a national criminal record report, and a vulnerable sector check on an annual basis.
The plan also recommends that the government be vigilant in collecting data in order to make more informed, evidence-based decisions on future ride-hailing services. This data would include wait times, trip lengths and costs, and possibly extend to the taxi industry.
Additionally, accessibility regulations are bring proposed, stating that all eligible ride-hailing companies must have fleets big enough to attain wait-time standards and to make sure drivers have the proper training to serve customers with disabilities.
Some of the other recommendations include the suggestion of companies disclosing to cost of a trip prior to the customer taking it, and the potential need for a base rate or cap on surge pricing.
“It’s important that any provincial regulatory regime developed takes into account the need for fairness, consumer protections and workers’ rights in an ever-changing economy,” committee chair Ma said. “Public safety, including appropriate driver screening, vehicle inspections and insurance, is paramount.”
Check out the recommendations in their entirety here.