Penalties for Illegal Ridesharing Operations should be Steeper

While MLAs continue to debate how to regulate ride shares in Vancouver and across BC — here in the Lower Mainland, growth in illegal rideshares has been absolutely explosive!

Yesterday on CKNW I followed up with Lynda Steel on a conversation we had back in July. Then, the illegal unregulated rideshare GoKabu was boasting 150,000 rides since they began operations in June 2016. Today that total is 1,000,000. One million unregulated, unlicensed, uninsured and untaxed rides — and that's just one company!

GoKabu are but one of at least seven illegal and unregulated rideshares operating in the Greater Vancouver area. They significantly undercut the taxi industry drivers who are paying insurance and taxes, and following requirements for licensing and permits (at significant cost).

Regardless of your opinion on pros or cons of rideshare: both Uber and Lyft are at least respecting our legal process, and lobbying government to change the laws and introduce a new regulatory framework. Taxi drivers are similarly lobbying to even the playing field. These unregulated operators prefer to ignore the law,and game the system.

So far fines that have been levied against ridesharing scofflaws have been shrugged off as "the cost of doing business". Yesterday both BC Green leader Andrew Weaver and I suggested the same thing: if fines aren’t working, up the ante and impound the vehicle.

Under Section 104.1 of the Motor Vehicle Act, a peace officer can impound the vehicle of an uninsured driver (any vehicle carrying commercial passengers must have a Class 4). Similar statues exist under the MVA for uninsured drivers (ICBC don’t cover commercial passengers under personal insurance policies).

hear full interview:

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