Province puts brakes on ride-share drivers with fines

It’s the driver, not the app, that’s operating illegally: Ministry of Transportation

A word of caution to drivers who want to earn extra cash by joining a ride-sharing service: the provincial government will find and fine you.

The Ministry of Transportation has issued 20 cease-and-desist orders and 23 fines of $1,150 to drivers who are using their personal vehicles as a commercial venture.

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“It is the driver, not the app companies, that are operating illegally and are subject to penalties and fines of $1,150,” a ministry press release says. “It is important that drivers providing commercial transportation services through these social media apps understand that they are assuming all of the risk related to providing the service.”

The ministry says several ride-hailing apps have been actively recruiting drivers in the Lower Mainland. These companies include Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare.

Passengers must also be aware that when they hail a ride using one of these apps, “they are choosing to take a trip in a vehicle that has not been licensed to operate legally in British Columbia.”

In order to be licensed there must be:

• a regular, government-safety inspection of the vehicle;

• insurance that will cover the carrying of paying passengers; and

• a police background check for drivers.

“New ‘ride hail’ services and passenger transportation options cannot operate at the expense of passenger and driver safety,” the ministry says.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena has ordered an expert review of ride-hailing services and the taxi industry, expected to be completed in early this year.

In the meantime, Uber is laying the groundwork for expanding its brand in the city.

Last month it launched its food-delivery service, UberEATS, in select Vancouver neighbourhoods.

The delivery service allows Uber to recruit potential drivers to transport food before regulations are introduced to transport people.

 

With files from BIV.com.

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