Ride hailing is operating in Toronto and other North American cities, but B.C. hasn’t licensed any services yet. (Flickr)

B.C. cracks down on illegal ride hailing services, fines drivers

Investigation of Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare

The B.C. government has identified at least seven services operating illegal ride-hailing in B.C., issuing more than 20 cease-and-desist orders and applying fines to drivers operating without licence and insurance.

B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Branch has assessed 23 fines of $1,150 to drivers so far, and it is continuing to investigate, the transportation ministry announced Monday.

“Several companies operating under the names Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool and AO Rideshare have developed ride-sourcing apps,” the ministry said in a statement. “These companies have been recruiting drivers to operate their personal vehicles as commercial passenger-directed vehicles on the Lower Mainland.”

The provincial branch and municipal regulators of taxis require drivers to have regular, government-approved safety inspection of their vehicles for hire, a police background check on drivers and insurance that will cover the carrying of paying passengers.

The B.C. NDP government held hearings on introducing ride-hailing this month, hearing from established taxi services, ride-hailing pioneers Uber and Lyft, and experts on the impact of ride-hailing services that use smartphone apps to connect drivers and people looking for rides.

RELATED: B.C. politicians tackle ride-hailing rules

The province is asking people who have been recruited as drivers or want to make a report about these services, to contact the Passenger Transportation Branch at 604 527-2198, or email: passengertransportationbr@gov.bc.ca

BC legislatureride hailing