The provincial government is reducing the annual licensing fee for taxi and limousine operators to offer further support during the pandemic.
The announcement was made on Monday morning and is meant to help operators pay less while keeping more vehicles on the road.
Prior to the reduction, operators would pay an annual fee of $100 per vehicle with no overall fee cap. The licensing cut halves the annual fee to $50 and includes a licence fee cap of $5,000.
Carolyn Bauer, a spokesperson for the Vancouver Taxi Association, says that the industry has seen “significant impacts” as a result of the pandemic and believes that the change will “support the industry during this challenging time.”
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Other temporary measures helping the industry include waiving plate fees for operators, allowing eligible licensees to defer their passenger transportation fee, and providing a temporary suspension of insurance payment for fleet and non-fleet customers.
“We’ve heard from operators and drivers about the impact of COVID-19 on British Columbians who make their living in the taxi industry,” says Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, in a statement.
“Lowering the annual licence fee is just one of the ways our government can step in and help this industry as we continue to reopen and recover together.”
Earlier this year, the provincial government introduced a distance-based insurance offering for taxi drivers. It’s based on the per-kilometre distance travelled with passengers aboard and is similar to insurance offered to ride-hailing vehicles. The product was made available on May 1.