B.C. TAXI ASSOCIATION
Association – Submission to Government
The BC Taxi
Association has committed to government to prepare a submission of their
concerns and issues regarding the government’s March 7, 2017 ride sharing
should have insurance at the level that the taxi industry already has, full
police criminal background checks including biometric finger-printing and
proper training to ensure public safety.
The taxi industry is highly regulated in BC and for good reason: to protect
drivers and most importantly, to protect the public.
taxi drivers in BC require:
permit issued from law enforcement in the city that they operate in which
includes a police background check
licence approved by B.C.’s Passenger Transportation
A National Safety Code Safety Certificate
The BC Taxi
Association believes that any entrants to the market, including TNCs, should
meet these basic requirements. The BC
Government announcement proposes to eliminate many of these basic requirements
thus lowering the safety standards currently in place.
background check requirements should require full biometric finger-print police
background checks. Many TNCs background
checks, such as Uber’s, are outsourced to third-parties and are not full police
background checks. This has left gaps in
the background check process which has led to some drivers with serious
criminal backgrounds allowed to drive.
also currently require training such as that conducted by the Justice Institute
of BC. We believe that safety could be
compromised if training requirements are eliminated as proposed by the BC
While the BC
Government has proposed that taxis and ride-sharing providers will require the
same safety standards, TNCs should be required to meet our current
standards. The BC Taxi Association does
not support lowering these standards as laid out by government.
The BC Taxi
Association also believes that government should require that TNC vehicles have
a permanent number on the rear of the vehicle.
We would also suggest exterior signage on the door but at a minimum a
permanent number on the rear so that vehicles can be identified.
In respect to
vehicle inspections, they are currently conducted under the National Safety
Code. TNCs should be required to have
the same mechanical inspections as taxis conducted by the National Safety Code
every six months.
Safety Code prohibits taxi drivers from working more than 70 hours per
week. The same rules should apply to
both taxis and TNCs. We look forward to
learning how government will monitor the number of hours that TNCs operate to
prevent a safety hazard to the public.
insurance is going to apply to TNCs it should apply to taxis – they should only
be charged commercial rates when they are carrying passengers and not when they
are waiting or driving to a fare. A
level playing field would obviously adhere to the same rules. Taxis and TNCs should be charged the same
base rate and any extra liability insurance required by taxis should be
required by TNCs.
has one of the largest accessible taxi fleets.
Unfortunately, operating accessible vehicles is far more expensive than
regular taxis and current operations have been subsidizing the accessible fleet
operation. If TNCs are allowed access to
the market, taxi companies may simply not be able to afford putting the far
more expensive accessible vehicles on the road.
The BC Taxi Association suggests that the government should require a
certain percentage of TNC vehicles on the road at any time be accessible to
ensure service to the community that requires it.
We are glad
to hear that Minister Fassbender is looking at protecting the consumer from
surge pricing as well as protections for the taxi industry against predatory
pricing. The BC Taxi Association
strongly believes that there should be the same base rate for both taxis and
the BC Government’s announcement regarding the development of a single app with
the capability of a shared dispatch.
This will help improve customer service.
The BC Taxi Association is committed to start implementing regional
dispatches as soon as possible in preparation for one single dispatch.
the Government’s announcement regarding the installation of safety improvements
such as crash prevention technology. It
has the potential to benefit passengers, the taxi industry as well as
ICBC. We do suggest that if taxis are
required to have crash prevention technology, those TNCs should have the same
The BC Taxi
Association supports measures aimed at improving safety. It has already installed other technologies
to help improve public safety like safety cameras.
The BC Taxi
Association is fully supportive of the Passenger Transportation Board. We believe there needs to be some regulatory
body to ensure that taxis and any new entrants such as TNCs adhere to the rules
and regulations. There needs to be
proper enforcement for both the taxis and TNCs.
The BC Taxi
Association also believes that there should be a control on the number of taxis
and TNCs. Currently two transit agencies
in San Francisco are asking for data from TNCs as they are looking how to
control taxi issues. The San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority was quoted
in a letter as saying:
“Much of the increase San Francisco has
experienced in vehicular traffic can be attributed to the huge increase in the
number of [ride-hail] vehicles operating on city streets. The commission’s prior and current rule making
process clearly has had a significant environmental impact.”
addition, the government of Ireland lifted the limits on the number of licences
issued in 2000. Between 2000 and 2008,
the number of taxi licences increased from 3,913 to 21,177, an increase of over
500%. In 2010, the government of Ireland
had to re-regulate and place a restriction on the number of licences. No control on numbers of vehicle do not help anybody including that of
drivers or consumers .
Government should look at experience in other jurisdictions such as San
Francisco and Ireland and consider a control on the number of taxis and
Passenger Transportation Board, there should be assurances and/or regulation
that smaller communities will not lose all of their service to larger
The current taxi industry is
and has been for decades very regulated as to new taxi entrants into the
market. The current Passenger
Transportation Board and the Motor Carrier Commission before that has been
mandated to regulate the public need on proven public demand. Right or wrong, this regime has resulted with
the government’s full knowledge in the sale and trading of taxi licences in
amounts approaching $1 million for a Vancouver based taxi licence and hundreds of
thousands of dollars for a suburban taxi licence. Ordinary taxi drivers have mortgaged homes
and used life savings to purchase taxi licences, which will now have a
significantly reduced but undetermined value.
Will the government consider a “transportation fee” similar to an
airport improvement fee that would result in some form of compensation to the
current holders of taxi licences.
The BC Taxi
Association is working to ensure the economic viability of the taxi industry
and its investors while continuously improving on its customer service.