Taxi and limousine operators across the north will be paying less to keep their vehicles on the road during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve heard from operators and drivers about the impact of COVID-19 on British Columbians who make their living in the taxi industry,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in a news release.

“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.”

Last week, the annual licence renewal fee was reduced for commercial operators who hold a Passenger Directed Vehicle Authorization, which includes taxi and limousine operators.

In the past, these licensees paid an annual fee of $100 per vehicle with no overall fee cap, this year it has been reduced to $50 with a licence fee cap of $5,000.

“There have been significant impacts on our industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as there have been for so many,” said Carolyn Bauer, spokesperson for the Vancouver Taxi Association. “We have been working closely with the Province, and are pleased with this change that I believe will support our industry during this challenging time.”

Additional temporary measures to support the passenger transportation industry during the COVID-19 pandemic have also been introduced, including:

* waiving plate fees for all operators during COVID-19

* allowing eligible licensees to defer their passenger transportation renewal fee for up to six months

* allowing insurance payments to be temporarily suspended for fleet and non-fleet customers