The Village of Harrison Hot Springs is considering getting in on the ride-hailing market.
The Village Council met on Monday and approved introducing two bylaws that would help regulate the inter-municipal ride-hailing business licenses (IMBL) needed for ride-share drivers for companies such as Uber, Lyft and about a dozen other companies seeking to operate in the area.
The IMBLs for ride-hailing companies would be administered through Vancouver.
“Having the city of Vancouver be the point agency for collecting the data, administering the licenses and issuing the licenses is very convenient to all of the rest of the participating jurisdictions,” Chief administrative officer Madeline McDonald told the council. “We saw this as a good opportunity.”
The city of Vancouver would also be in charge of any bylaw enforcement.
The bylaws that stand before the council asks for them to join in with the other 24 partnering municipalities in passing agreement and business license scheme bylaws. This will go into effect on April 1, 2020 if the bylaws pass all three readings.
Though similar, the reason for the separate bylaws are The agreement bylaw – 1156 – outlines the regulations set forth by the city of Vancouver and resolves the village to abide by those regulations. The transportation network services business license scheme bylaw – bylaw no. 1155 – essentially translates to Harrison Hot Springs cooperating and collaborating with the other municipalities in the agreement as needed.
The partnering municipalities are: Bowen Island, Abbotsford, Burnaby, Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Delta, Maple Ridge, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Squamish, Whistler, Pitt Meadows, Vancouver, Langley City, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam, White Rock, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Langley Township, Anmore and Lions Bay.
In return for their agreement, Harrison Hot Springs will receive a percentage of tax revenue generated from ride-hailing companies once initial administrative fees have been paid.
Coun. Gerry Palmer excused himself from the unanimous vote due to a potential conflict of interest. Though about 20 members of the public were in attendance, there were no public comments concerning the proposed bylaws.
In other council business, Mayor Leo Facio honoured four students after they placed first in the School District 78 District Geography Challenge – Tianna Van Oort, Samuel Murillo-Keusch, Rylan MacNeil and Brooke Dorey.
The council unanimously approved the adoption of the 2020-2024 financial plan.
Harrison Hot Springs volunteer firefighter Nicolette Joosting presented before the council and announced the emergency preparedness event on Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the fire hall at 555 Hot Springs Road. The event is designed to teach locals how to volunteer to support their community during an emergency. Representatives from the Canadian Red Cross, Emergency Support Services and firefighters will be available to answer questions.
Coun. Ray Hooper and Coun. Michie Vidal attended Coffee with a Cop in Harrison. Hooper said about 20 people were in attendance.
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall.