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Province not budging on licence requirements for ridesharing

This Monday, May 16, 2016, file photo shows a smartphone displaying the Lyft app, in Detroit. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Paul Sancya, File

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — If you’re interested in driving for Uber or Lyft it looks like the province isn’t going to change its tune.

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Transportation Minister Claire Trevena is not budging on calls for a Class 4 licence — the licence required to drive buses with up to 25 passengers, taxis and limos, and ambulances — despite the all-party committee calling for a standard Class 5 licence, and continued criticism from the opposition.

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson has nothing good to say about the province’s decision, calling it a “manipulated, contrived government operation, half-baked and won’t work.”

But Trevena is holding firm and not entertaining other options because she says requiring that Class 4 licence gives people extra security.

“Class 4 is generally for transporting people — its for wine tours, for taxis and will be for app-based ride hailing,” she says. “(We) want to make sure that people who get into a car — whether it’s a cab or a ride hail — and who are paying for service are safe.”

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Making money off driving is another also key in her decision, although couriers only require a Class 5 licence.

She says this is what many other jurisdictions are doing, but Alberta is the only region requiring a Class 4 license.

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Other provinces like Saskatchewan are offering a middle ground –the option of using a regular Class 5 licence if you meet additional requirements, such as not having any DUIs in the past 10 years.