COVID-19 Information for the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry in B.C.

This web page has information on COVID-19 specific to those involved in the commercial passenger vehicle industry in British Columbia.

In-Person Inquiries Suspended

Effective March 16, 2020, no in-person inquiries may be made at the Coquitlam office where the Passenger Transportation Branch is located. This precaution is to maintain proper physical distancing for the health and safety of both branch staff and stakeholders. You may contact the branch by phone or by email.

We will notify passenger transportation licensees by email once it is safe to return to in-person inquiries.

Industry Updates

 

March 30 - Commercial Passenger Transportation Licence Renewal Process During COVID-19

In response to inquiries from the commercial passenger vehicle industry regarding the impact of COVID-19 on current and future operations, the Registrar of Passenger Transportation (Registrar) has made temporary changes to the licence renewal process. This document outlines the regular and the optional, modified licence renewal process for General Authorizations and Special Authorizations.

Regular Licence Renewal Process

Under section 34 of the Passenger Transportation Act, a Passenger Transportation Licence expires annually, and licensees must apply to the Registrar to renew a licence.

To renew a licence, licensees:

  • Submit the Notice to Renew form prior to the expiry date of the licence;
  • Pay the related licence fees; and
  • Submit the required documentation listed in the Notice to Renew form.

Under the regular process, the Registrar will not renew a licence until all of the above has been submitted and payment has been collected.

Temporary Modified Licence Renewal Process

Licensees have the option to submit the Notice to Renew form prior to the expiry date and defer payment and the submission of required documentation for up to six months. This process is only available to licensees with a licence expiry date between April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

If a licensee chooses this option, the Notice to Renew form must still be submitted before the licence expiry date. This form will act as a declaration of intent to renew services within six months.

In addition to the Notice to Renew form, complete and submit the Cover Page template provided at the bottom of this policy and have it signed by your signing authority.

Licensees choosing this modified process are expected to pay and submit required documentation before the six months have passed and will not receive their renewed licence until this is done.

Once all required information is provided to the Registrar, a licence will be issued.

The new licence will still expire one year after the original expiry date. For example, if a licence expires on April 17, 2020, it will still expire one year later on April 17, 2021, however, the renewal fees will be pro-rated to cover only the months when the licensee’s vehicles were operational.

Note that this policy may be rescinded with advanced notice.

The modified licence renewal process is optional. Licensees can choose to follow the regular renewal process outlined in the Licence Renewal Information to receive their licence and continue operating without interruption. For Licensees who do not renew their Licence If you do not renew your licence, once the expiry date passes, you will be required to cease passenger transportation services and apply for a new licence should you wish to operate in the future. For General Authorization licensees, an application for a new licence will be required for the Registrar’s decision. For Special Authorization licensees, a new licence application will be submitted for decision to the Passenger Transportation Board’s decision.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Passenger Transportation Branch by phone or by email. As of the Industry Notice posted March 16, 2020, no in-person inquiries can be made at this time.

Telephone: 604 527-2198 or toll free through Service BC at 1-800-663-7867
Email: passengertransportationbr@gov.bc.ca

Sincerely,

Registrar of Passenger Transportation

 

March 25, 2020 - Best Practices for the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry during COVID-19

This Industry Notice advises companies and drivers of commercial passenger vehicles of best practices during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Best Practices for Companies:

  • Hand Hygiene: Make hand hygiene products available to your staff and drivers
  • Cleaning: Increase the frequency of office cleanings and pay special attention to high contact areas like photocopiers, light switches and door handles
  • Remote work: Enable your office staff to work from home if possible to reduce the number of people at the office
  • Physical Distancing: Advise those who remain at the office to not congregate in close contact during breaks and to maintain physical distancing of two metres. Adjust work spaces as able to provide additional distance between employees
  • Unwell Employees: Support your staff and drivers to stay home if they are sick
  • Communicate: Ensure your customers and employees know what you are doing to support their safety and to prevent the spread of the virus

Best Practices for Drivers:

  • Wash your hands regularly, including after re-fueling, after each client interaction, before eating, and at the beginning and end of every shift with soap and water for 20 seconds or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Keep soap and water or hand sanitizer in your vehicle to allow for this
  • Clean the vehicle after each passenger trip, such as sanitizing surfaces and interior/exterior door handles. Do this immediately after passengers exit the vehicle
  • Keep windows open as much as possible when transporting passengers to allow for air circulation
  • Limit the number of passengers in a vehicle and have them sit as far from the driver and other passengers as possible to support physical distancing. Family groups can sit together in the back seats
  • Exchange payment outside of the vehicle and promote the use of tap or phone payments (if applicable)
  • Sanitize all shared spaces of the vehicle at the end of your shift, including the steering wheel, gear shifter, dashboard, and electronic devices

These best practices are consistent with the advice of our provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. These simple measures can greatly reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

General Safety Measures for the Public

In addition to the industry-specific measures above, all members of the public should adhere to these common sense practices:

  • Stay home if sick
  • Frequent hand washing, for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Sneeze or cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Do not share food or drinks
  • Practice physical distancing

Public gatherings larger than 50 people are not permitted at this time as they do not allow for proper physical distancing. Avoid all non-essential travel, both out-of-country and at home.

Steps to Take if Exhibiting Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, or difficult breathing.

Any person concerned they may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should access the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool. The assessment may advise a person to contact 8-1- 1 or 9-1-1 for further direction. Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate, which means staying home and not going to work. For more information on how to self-isolate and for long here, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control – Self-Isolation.

If someone exhibits symptoms but is unable to access the Self-Assessment Tool, they should self-isolate and call 8-1-1 if they need health information or advice to manage their symptoms, or if their symptoms worsen. Additionally, if someone has come in contact with anyone with COVID-19, they must self-isolate immediately and take the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool.

For more information and resources on COVID-19, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

Thank you,
Passenger Transportation Branch