Transportation Network Services - Information for Municipalities

Operation of Transportation Network Services (also called ride-hailing) was recently approved for British Columbia. Find out how this will affect municipal bylaws and authority.

Municipal Authority

There have been some changes to municipalities’ regulatory and administrative powers in relation to Passenger Directed Vehicles (PDVs) under the new framework that allows Transportation Network Services in B.C. 

Municipalities are encouraged to seek independent legal advice respecting how these new rules will impact them.

  • Municipalities retain their authority to:
    • Issue business licences
    • Set business licence requirements
    • Regulate through street and traffic bylaws
    • Examples of areas that municipalities may regulate in relation to PDVs include:
      • taxi stand locations
      • age of fleet
      • and standard of fleet
  • The Passenger Transportation Board has sole authority with respect to the supply and operating area for PDVs. Municipalities may not:
    • Refuse to issue a business licence to operate a PDV for the sole reason that the person holds a business licence issued by another municipality
    • Prohibit PDVs from operating in the municipality
    • Regulate the number of PDVs that may be operated
    • Issue municipal chauffeur’s permits

Existing Bylaws

What will happen to existing municipal bylaws that regulate passenger directed vehicles (PDVs)?

  • Any existing municipal bylaw that regulates the number of PDVs that may be operated within a municipality will have no effect once the ride-hailing framework comes into effect in September 2019.
  • Any existing municipal bylaw that prohibits PDVs from operating in a municipality, including bylaws that would refuse a business licence because the person already holds a licence to operate the vehicle issued by another municipality, will have no effect once the ride-hailing framework comes into effect in September 2019.
  • Any existing bylaw that regulates in relation to chauffeurs who operate motor vehicles under a PTB licence will have no effect once the ride-hailing framework comes into effect in September 2019.

Business Licences

Municipalities have the ability to establish

  • One set of business licence requirements for taxi fleets and a different set of requirements for ride-hailing
  • Different street and traffic rules for taxis and for ride-hailing under their authority in relation to streets and traffic

Operating Boundaries

The legislation gives the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) sole jurisdiction over boundaries. 

Municipalities (or any interested party) will have an opportunity to make a submission to the PTB during the application stage to state concerns, if any.

Can taxis that are currently limited to one area by the Passenger Transportation Board now operate in all areas?

  • Operators of passenger directed vehicles (PDVs) can apply to the PTB for a licence to work in certain areas. If approved, a PDV licence would authorize an operator to work (i.e., pick up passengers) in those areas.
  • If taxis are licensed to operate in multiple municipalities by the PTB, the companies and operators will be expected to hold business licences in each municipality that requires them, and to meet the highest standard of those areas.
  • Municipalities (or any interested party) will have an opportunity to make a submission to the PTB during the application stage to state concerns, if any.

Can taxis and ride-hailing vehicles pick up a fare anywhere they’ve dropped off a passenger?

Operators of passenger directed vehicles can apply to the PTB for a licence to work in certain areas; if approved, a PTB licence would authorize an operator to work (i.e., pick up passengers) in certain areas.

Existing Operators

Holders of existing PTB licences can continue to operate under their current licences unless they want to change the area of operation or fleet size in which case they can apply to the PTB for an amendment to their licence.