An Uber-Lyft driver drives off after picking up a passenger along Mission Street on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

An Uber-Lyft driver drives off after picking up a passenger along Mission Street on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

B.C. sees spike in drivers applying for Class 4 licences after ride-hailing approved

Even bigger jump expected for new Class 4 licences awarded this year

The number of Class 4 drivers licences awarded in B.C. spiked one third since B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board ruled the commercial licence necessary for ride-hailing in August.

Keep in mind most of those drivers were already in possession of their Class 4 learner’s permit and the statistics show that ICBC is due for an even greater jump in Class 4 commercial licences awarded in early 2020.

The indicator is based on a 73.7 per cent spike in knowledge tests passed, which is a key step in getting a Class 4 learner’s licence. In short, 935 more people passed the knowledge test as part of the learner’s application between July and December than did 2018.

READ MORE: B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

In August alone, the month the rules were announced, the Class 4 knowledge test has 546 successful completions compared to 374 in August of 2018.

Top line shows Class 4 commercial drivers licenses awarded in 2018 and 2019. Bottom line shows how many people passed the Class 4 knowledge tests, part of the test to get a Class 4 learners license. (ICBC Stats)

In total, 2,213 people passed the knowledge test from May 1 to Dec. 31 in 2019 compared to 1,274 in the same period of 2018.

Most speculate the anomaly in numbers is due to the new ride-hailing rules.

It also looks as though many would-be ride-hailing drivers anticipated the Class 4 licence would be needed ahead

ICBC stats also show that number of Class 4 commercial licences obtained increased in 2019, up about 16 per cent for the three month period of June to August. Between May 1 and Dec. 31 of 2019 ICBC awarded 2,359 Class 4 licences, a 27 per cent spike over the 1,855 awarded in same period from 2018. The increase is up a third (34 per cent jump) since August.

READ ALSO: Ride-hailing company to launch in Victoria

Last week the Passenger Transportation Board confirmed Uber and Lyft were awarded permits to operate in Metro Vancouver. Only ReRyde Technologies and Kater Technologies have applied to operate in the Capital Regional District (CRD) and so far have been rejected. ReRyde’s declined application also included Vancouver Island and the Okanagan-Kootenays-Cariboo while Kater applied for the Lower Mainland, Whistler, Vancouver Island, Okanagan-Kootenays-Cariboo and B.C. North Central & Other Regions.

The board said these are six of the first 29 applications.

However, more are expected, as companies such as U-Ride announced in the fall they are ready and waiting in smaller markets such as Victoria, Nanaimo, the Okanagan and the interior.

To achieve eligibility to operate a ride-hailing permitted vehicle the driver must be 19, obtain a full Class 4 driving permit and have two years of non-learner driving experience with fewer than four penalty point incidents in the most recent 24 months and without any outstanding fines and debts owed to ICBC.

Getting the Class 4 learner’s licence requires passing a knowledge test, vision test and disclosure of medical conditions or physical disabilities that could affect driving.

The knowledge test fee is $15, while it is $40 for the road test and $28 for the medical processing fee.

“We’re prepared and continue to monitor the demand for Class 4 testing,” ICBC spokesperson Lindsey Wilkins said. “If demand increases, we will increase the number of available Class 4 road test appointments to support the additional demand.”

Class 4 licences permit a maximum of 10 people in the car.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ben Maartman, pictured in his ‘farm office’ has been elected as Area H director. (Ben Maartman photo)
Ben Maartman declared Director of CVRD Area H

Maartman will be sworn in on December 8

Beautiful morning with the sun peaking through, as viewed from Thetis Island. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
November characterized by a record high, no snow and plenty of rain in Chemainus region

Temperature almost hits the 20 degree Celsius mark on Nov. 4

Applications for the OCP Steering Committee can be dropped off at Ladysmith City Hall or emailed to info@ladysmith.ca. (File photo)
Town seeks community members for OCP steering committee

The deadline for applications is January 4, 2021, at 4 p.m.

Three Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteers have tested positive for COVID-19. (Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary photo)
Three Ladysmith Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store volunteers test positive for COVID-19

Anyone who volunteered at Thrift Store between Nov. 14 - Nov. 28 is asked to monitor for symptoms

Ben Maartman, left, and Murray McNab are running for regional director for Area H North Oyster-Diamond in a Cowichan Valley Regional District byelection later this month. (Photos submitted)
Preliminary Area H byelection results show Maartman up by seven votes, McNab to ask for recount

Results of the by-election to by finalized by noon on Tuesday, December 1

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read