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City of Richmond, Passenger Transportation Board, Richmond RCMP Target Illegal Ride Sourcing ServicesCity of Richmond
RICHMOND - The City of Richmond, the Passenger Transportation Branch (PTB) and the Richmond RCMP have taken joint action against illegal ride sourcing services.
Over the past two weeks, City, Passenger Transportation Branch and RCMP investigators conducted a number of coordinated enforcement operations to target known ride sourcing operators that have been blatantly flaunting provincial regulations, as well as operating without municipal business licences. As a result:
- 12 operators were stopped
- Passenger Transportation Branch issued 12 tickets with fines of $1,150 each;
- City licencing inspector issued 36 tickets, three to each driver for:
- operating a business without a licence ($1,000 Fine );
- failure to display a Chauffeur’s Permit ($50 fine); and
- failure to display a tariff card ($100 fine);
- RCMP issued five tickets; and
- one vehicle was towed.
Of the 12 vehicles stopped, one driver was an “N” and another driver had an expired licence.
The operation consisted of enforcement officers from the PTB, Richmond’s Business Licences group as well as an RCMP member. Other enforcement operations have found drivers with prior driving infractions that prohibit them from driving. Unlike licensed operators these drivers have also not been required to clear a criminal record check.
“We are committed to working with our provincial partners to address this issue,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “These types of services present significant public safety and security issues. Consumers need to be aware of the risks they place themselves in when using these services.”
“The Passenger Transportation Branch welcomes the partnership by the City of Richmond to address the operation of illegal ride hailing services in their community,” said Passenger Transportation Branch Registrar Kristin Vanderkuip. “We look forward to collaborating with other jurisdictions as we step up enforcement efforts in the coming months.”
All those seeking to provide commercial passenger transportation services in Metro Vancouver or anywhere in B.C. must respect the current regulatory and legal system in British Columbia. New “ride share” services and passenger transportation options cannot operate at the expense of passenger and driver safety. Drivers and companies offering these services in the City of Richmond are required to have a Richmond business licence for the main office; individual licences for each taxicab; and a Chauffeur’s Permit for each driver. At this time, any such business and their drivers would not be eligible to receive a municipal business licence as they are considered illegal under provincial regulation.
Several companies operating under the names Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool, and AO Rideshare have developed ridesourcing apps. The Passenger Transportation Branch has been conducting ongoing enforcement action against these services since last fall. To date, the PTB has issued 20 cease and desist orders and 23 fines of $1,150 have been given to drivers identified as operating without a licence.
Passengers must know that when they hail a ride in a vehicle through these apps they are choosing to take a trip in a vehicle that has not been licenced to operate legally in British Columbia. Current provincial and municipal regulatory requirements include a regular, government approved, safety inspection of the vehicle, insurance that will cover the carrying of paying passengers and a police background check for drivers.
Drivers providing commercial transportation services through these social media apps should understand they are assuming all of the risk related to providing the service. It is the driver, not the app companies, that are operating illegally under provincial regulations and are subject to penalties and fines from the municipality, the PTB and the RCMP. These drivers are also subject to possible further sanctions for not disclosing the commercial use of their vehicles to lease and insurance providers, including vehicle impoundment. The City, PTB and RCMP will continue to conduct ongoing enforcement.
This issue is not limited to Richmond. These services are known to be operating across Metro Vancouver and elsewhere in the province. The PTB is encouraging other municipalities to join with it in collaborative investigations and enforcement to curb this practise.
If you have questions or concerns or want to make a report about these services please contact the Passenger Transportation Branch at 604-527-2198 or e-mail at email@example.com. To report suspected business licence infractions to the City of Richmond please call 604-276-4328 or email BusLic@richmond.ca.