The Province has introduced Bill 40, proposing changes to the Passenger Transportation Act that will enhance safety and accessibility for B.C.’s taxi and ride-hailing industries.
The Passenger Transportation Act applies to drivers of commercial passenger vehicles, such as taxis, limousines and ride-hailing vehicles.
“We’re improving passenger safety in B.C. while removing transportation barriers for people with accessibility needs,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “These changes will support a more accessible taxi industry and ensure that the regulation of ride-hail evolves to keep people safe.”
The new Bill 40, tabled on Oct. 27, 2022, proposes amendments that will enable the registrar of passenger transportation to operate an accessibility program that will support increased availability of accessible vehicles and services.
The accessibility program will support the Province’s requirement that the taxi industry increases the number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles on the road. It will also advance the Province’s commitment made under the Accessible British Columbia Act to improve accessibility standards in a range of areas, such as employment, education, transportation, and buildings and infrastructure.
“Working toward a more equitable and inclusive society is at the heart of our commitment under the Accessible British Columbia Act,” said Dan Coulter, Parliamentary Secretary for Accessibility. “By passing these amendments, we will support industry efforts to provide better services for people who need transportation accommodations.”
Bill 40 further proposes changes to increase safety. It will clarify the authority of the registrar of passenger transportation by providing additional authority to prevent ineligible people from driving passenger-directed vehicles. It will also clarify the evidence drivers must produce at roadside to confirm their eligibility to drive passenger-directed vehicles.
The proposed amendments will also provide clarity to the Passenger Transportation Board regarding its authority to set terms and conditions for licensing service providers.
These amendments will further modernize B.C.’s commercial passenger-directed vehicle industry and support the Passenger Transportation Board in providing appropriate oversight and regulation.