NEWS

Uber Vancouver may be forced to comply with taxi regulations under proposed bill

11/03/2014 10:31 EST | Updated 01/03/2015 05:59 EST
The ride-sharing service Uber says it shouldn't be forced to follow taxi regulations, which it says are outdated, as B.C. NDP leader John Horgan prepares to introduce a bill doing just that.

Having been run out of Vancouver by the province two years ago, Uber has been clear that it intends to get back on the city's roads.

Uber is rumoured to be expanding into Vancouver with its UberX service, which uses a smartphone app to connect passengers with non-licensed drivers.

Meanwhile, Horgan will introduce legislation on Monday to ensure that app-based ride-share and cab companies fall under the Passenger Transportation Act.

He also wants to raise the maximum fine for someone operating without a permit from $5,000 to $20,000.

"Rules like criminal record checks for drivers, proper insurance and safe vehicles exist to protect passenger safety in the taxi industry," said Horgan in a press release last week.

"Online companies should not be allowed to bypass these rules, putting passengers at risk and undercutting our locally owned taxi industry, which supports thousands of B.C. families."

B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone has promised fines and legal action if Uber operates without ensuring drivers have taxi licences, which is what Uber has done in other cities such as Ottawa.

Uber isn't saying just what it has planned for Vancouver, but the company says it is a technology company, not a taxi service, and it shouldn't be subject to taxi regulations.

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