Are you confident in B.C.'s proposed ride-hailing legislation?

Are you confident in B.C.'s proposed ride-hailing legislation?

Needless to say, although the legislation comes as progress to some, many British Columbians were unhappy with the timeline of the rollout of the services.

Under the legislation, ride-hailing companies will be able to enter the BC market - but not until at least the fall of 2019.

According to a recent press release, the new legislation will be announced by Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in Victoria at 1:45 p.m. today.

The announcement will include a technical briefing and slide presentation on the act, followed by remarks from the minister and a Q&A session.

The province has appointed a special committee to "review and make recommendations on the effectiveness of the changes" outlined in the new act as they are rolled out.

The New Democrats, Liberals and Greens promised to bringing in ride-hailing during the 2017 provincial election campaign.

Premier John Horgan has previously said he expects the legislation to be passed in time for the Christmas holidays, but it may take a year or longer for ride-hailing to become a reality in B.C.

If approved, the amendments would significantly expand the power of the Passenger Transportation Board, which will have more authority to determine fares and the number of licensed vehicles in each area.

Under the act, those working for Uber or Lyft will also need a commercial Class 4 licence now required for those who drive taxis and limousines. Uber and Lyft, however, had been pushing for regular Class 5 drivers to be permitted to drive for them.

In addition to expanding the PTB's powers, the province has also recommended stiffer penalties across the taxi and ride-hailing industries for those caught operating outside the law.

Trevena declined to give an estimate for when ride-hailing vehicles might actually hit the streets in B.C.

"We are limited by insurance", Trevena told a news conference. "Nobody is going to be on the road until there's an insurance product that works for them".

Hara was also tasked with finding a "made-in-B.C." solution to the impasse caused by strict regulations at the provincial branch that licenses taxis and the government monopoly on auto insurance, which now won't cover vehicles used for ride-hailing.

Trevena said last July changes were introduced to allow 500 more taxis in B.C., including 300 more in the Metro Vancouver area.

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