CTV ATLANTIC
SEPT 24, 2020

Nova Scotia has taken another step towards allowing ride-sharing services such as Lyft and Uber to operate in the province.

In a release issued Thursday, the province announced they are introducing a “modernized” Class 4 licence that “no longer requires taxi or potential ride hail drivers to retake the road and knowledge tests,” and will save them the $68 testing fee.

All other requirements for a Class 4 licence, including a medical assessment, will remain.

The province says that will reduce the costs and administrative burdens for taxi and ride-sharing services.

“Making it easier to do business is an important step toward providing Nova Scotians with more transportation options,” said Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “The changes should help open the sector to healthy competition, reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and ensure our roads continue to be safe by keeping the medical requirement, which strikes a balance between business growth passenger safety. This is especially important in our rapidly growing metro areas and in underserviced areas across rural Nova Scotia.”

On Tuesday, Halifax Regional Council gave “transportation networking companies” the green light to operate with conditions.

Companies will have to pay an annual fee ranging between $2,000 for up to 10 vehicles operating and $25,000 for 100 or more cars.

Drivers have to have a minimum of three years’ experience and pass a criminal and child abuse registry check.

Provincial laws mean drivers need a Class 4 licence instead of a Class 5, like regular drivers, and Uber was urging the province to change the rules.

“Having more convenient, accessible transportation options is a key way to reduce impaired driving,” says MADD Canada chief executive officer Andrew Murie. “We welcome the news that Nova Scotians will be able to access ridesharing services such as Uber and thank the Government of Nova Scotia for moving forward with this. The more safe ride options available to people, the more likely they are to plan ahead for a sober ride home, and that makes roads and communities safer.”

Nova Scotia is one of seven provinces requiring a Class 4 to drive a cab or ride-sharing service vehicle.

The province now joins P.E.I and Quebec as the only provinces that waive the additional knowledge and road tests.

The new regulations come into effect immediately.