White Rock council has come out against current rules for ride-hailing companies in B.C. (File photo)

Drivers’ working conditions, wheelchair access top concerns ahead of ride-hailing in B.C.

Research Co. poll found a number of concerns by B.C. residents don’t line up with regulator’s decisions

As ride-hailing companies await approval from B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board, people have a number of concerns surrounding the working conditions of drivers, wheelchair access and road congestion.

According to a Research Co. poll released Tuesday, 75 per cent of respondents from Metro Vancouver think the province should require ride-hailing drivers, and taxi drivers, be paid a minimum wage and also receive benefits such as overtime and vacation pay.

Meanwhile, 71 per cent of respondents said that ride-hailing companies should devote at least 17 per cent of their fleet to wheelchair accessible vehicles, a concern predominantly raised by respondents over 55 years old.

Roughly 65 per cent of those surveyed also said they want to see a limit set on the number of fleets on the road to control congestion – a factor the Passenger Transportation Board has already said will not be apart of the initial ride-hailing roll out.

Lastly, 42 per cent of respondents believe ride-hailing companies should compete on equal footing with taxis. Roughly 700 adults were surveyed in the poll.

WATCH: TV host Jillian Harris says B.C. cab refused to give her ride

READ MORE: Uber to apply for ride-hailing licence in B.C., will operate in Lower Mainland

The Transportation Board has already released a number of rules for interested companies. This includes different zoning than taxis, which will be based off regions instead of cities, with operation zones of Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and Squamish-Whistler, or other large regions of the province.

Ride hailing drivers will have to abide by the same minimum fee as taxis, but will be able to increase those rates during peak travelling hours.

There also won’t be any cap on fleet sizes, as ride hailing fleets take time to build up, and that is especially the case for B.C. where a Class 4 commercial driver’s licence is required, board chair Catherine Read told Black Press Media in August.

A number of ride sharing companies have applied to hit roadways in B.C., including Lyft, TappCar and Kater. The NDP government has promised that services will be green lit by the end of the year.

ALSO READ: Companies shows first interest in bringing ride-hailing to Okanagan


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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