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BC’s Passenger Transportation Branch continues crackdown on illegal ride-hailing companies

The Passenger Transportation Board has issued over 20 cease-and-desist orders.
The Passenger Transportation Board has issued over 20 cease-and-desist orders. Simon Little / CKNW

B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Branch is outing some of the illegal ride-hailing companies operating in the province, but there is no indication of an increase in enforcement.

In a news release, the agency said all those seeking to provide commercial passenger services must respect B.C.’s regulatory and legal system.

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The branch says it has issued over 20 cease-and-desist orders and levied 23 fines to drivers operating without a licence.

According to the release, Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare have all developed ride-sourcing apps.

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Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie says he’s been working with the board and the RCMP to crack down on illegal ride-sharing companies.

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But he said customers should be cautious when using unlicensed services.

“There was one car where there was an ‘N’ on the back of it and there was another car where the driver had an expired licence,” Brodie said. “You have to wonder about the quality that you’re getting and also the risks.”

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He said the risks include insurance issues, particularly if there’s an accident.

“Who are the people who are doing the driving? What background check have they conducted? So I want people to be far more aware than they are now,” Brodie said.

In the last few weeks, almost 41 tickets have been handed out, Brodie said.

People caught illegally operating a ride-hailing service are subject to penalties and fines of $1,150.

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