The Nova Scotia government is changing the licensing rules to reduce costs and "administrative burdens" for taxi and ride-hailing services.
"We have been working on this for some time," Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines said Thursday, "and meeting with the ride-hailing companies."
On Tuesday, Halifax regional council approved changes that will allow companies such as Uber and Lyft to operate in the municipality. But officials with Uber said the ball was in the province's court when it comes to the requirements of a Class 4 licence.
The response from the transportation minister, two days later, involves the creation of a restricted Class 4 licence that will not require a road-and-knowledge test. That will save people a $68 retesting fee.
All other requirements for a Class 4 license, including a medical assessment, will remain.
"It keeps the playing field even," said Hines. "And I believe seven out of 10 provinces have a similar process."
A standard Class 4 license to drive an ambulance or small bus will still require the knowledge-and-road test.
The new regulations take effect immediately.
The leader of the Official Opposition, Tim Houston, said in an email that the government's decision "is long overdue" and that "Nova Scotia is catching up with the rest of the world by taking steps to allow ride-sharing and ride-hailing services."
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