Clampdown on ride apps

B.C. is clamping down on illegal ride-hailing services.

In a press release issued Monday, the provincial government says: :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-hail" services and passenger transportation options cannot operate at the expense of passenger and driver safety, the province says.

Companies operating under the names Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare have developed ride-sourcing apps and have been recruiting drivers in the Lower Mainland.

The Passenger Transportation Branch has issued more than 20 cease-and-desist orders and 23 fines of $1,150 each to unlicensed commercial drivers.

Such drivers assume all risk related to the service and are subject to possible further sanctions.

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.

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