British Columbia

Taxi drivers now able to get ICBC insurance equivalent to ride-hailing services

The Minister of Transportation says taxi drivers are now able to get ICBC insurance equivalent to that of ride-hailing drivers. The insurance is based on per-kilometre distance travelled with passengers aboard.

Minister of Transportation says insurance is based on per-kilometre distance travelled with passengers aboard

Many in the taxi industry want to see the elimination of geographic boundaries that limit where drivers can pick up passengers, claiming ride-hailing services aren't subject to the same rules. (Maryse Zeidler/CBC)

Taxi drivers will now have a new insurance product option that is equivalent to what is available for ride-hailing services, according to the Ministry of Transportation.  

"For the past several months, our government has been working with ICBC and the taxi industry to create a new insurance product option for taxi drivers," said Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.

"The insurance product will be based on the per-kilometre distance travelled with passengers aboard."

The Vancouver Taxi Association had previously said taxi drivers pay a much higher insurance rate than ride-hailing companies. 

"In the near future, taxi drivers who want this new product will be able to switch their insurance, with coverage beginning in the spring. Drivers who wish to keep their current form of coverage will not be affected," said a statement from Trevena. 

The ministry said it is also in talks with the taxi industry to determine how best to use the funds being collected from ride-hailing apps to improve accessible vehicles on the roads. 

Currently, there is a 30-cents-per-trip fee being charged on ride-hailing services that do not have accessible vehicles. 

The new government initiatives were announced after the the Vancouver Taxi Association said it would no longer subsidize drivers who operate accessible vehicles, claiming sudden competition from ride-hailing means taxi companies can no longer afford it.

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