BC might finally get Uber

British Columbia has finally introduced legislation where you can drive for Uber legally in that province. This will officially kick in around mid of 2019.

You would need to get a Class 4 (or more known as commercial license) instead of normal Class 5 license and undergo criminal check to drive for the ride sharing company.

Transportation Minister , Claire Trevena , said it is a matter of safety:

“It’s got stricter limits on it and I think that anybody who’s getting in as a passenger wants to know the driver is as safe as possible."

Here is what the difference is:

Class 4 (unrestricted)

School bus

What you can use it for:

  • To drive buses with a maximum seating capacity of 25 persons (including the driver), including school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles used to transport people with disabilities
  • To drive taxis and limousines
  • To drive ambulances
  • To drive any vehicle in Class 5

Class 5 or 7 driver's licence

Car

What you can use it for:

  • To drive cars, vans, trucks, construction, utility vehicles (2 axles maximum) and motorhomes (may exceed 2 axles)
  • To tow trailers or vehicles up to 4,600kg
  • To ride a limited speed motorcycle or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
  • To ride 3-wheeled vehicles but does not include 3-wheeled motorcycles (trikes) or motorcycle/sidecar combinations

Uber's Dissapointment

Uber Manager Michael van Hemme said he was disappointed by the BC's decision as Class 4 license is more difficult to get:

“Drivers, experienced safe drivers have a hard time understanding why they would need to get a special driver’s licence to drive the same vehicle that they’re already driving, so it definitely becomes a barrier to a lot of people to participate."

“I hope that the government is willing to continue to engage until the entire framework is finalized and we will continue to work with the NDP government and all parties to ensure true best practices from other jurisdictions are adopted here in B.C. and lay out the benefits of doing so,” van Hemmen said.

MichaelGaida / Pixabay

Bad Decision?

Helen del Val from North Vancouver wrote in to The Vancouver Sun questioning the British Columbia's NDP government's decision:

"I take early and late flights on a regular basis for work so I take taxis. On the last trip, I waited 45 minutes for a cab home.

When I read Tuesday’s article about some of the rules and regulations being put in place to bring Uber in, I pre-booked YVR parking for a trip and I will pre-book it for next week’s trip and so on. I’m driving. Every other city has figured out ride-hailing so why can’t we?

The provincial government’s action in putting up all the hurdles to block/delay Uber is akin to a judge setting bail at an amount he or she knows the accused cannot raise. Our government has no will and courage to bring in Uber and lacks the integrity to admit it."