B.C. goverment curbing the party bus biz

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Photo via Vancouver Party Bus/Facebook

The B.C government is making some changes to limousine licensing, and the new stricter controls are aimed at curbing the party bus business.

From here on out, limo operators who have vehicles in their fleet that offer “perimeter seating,” like stretch SUVs and limo-buses, will need to get each of those vehicles approved by an independent tribunal to obtain a “Special Authorization licence,” explains the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

In particular, the Board is interested in the operations of “party bus” vehicles.

This Board will have a say on rates, fleet size, and areas of operation, which is a significant change from the parameters of the General Authorization licence these limo operators previously had.

Further, There will be a more extensive review process of applicants prior to licensing and the Board can also initiate a fitness review of operators.

The timing of the new regulation was orchestrated in part to align with the upcoming rental season of party bus limos for events like graduation, notes The Sun.

For many renters, a party bus is a way to make the festivities mobile, and that often includes drinking inside the vehicle. Of course, doing so is actually illegal, but that often doesn’t stop the alcohol from flowing inside party buses in Vancouver.

“Drinking alcohol on a party bus, limo, SUV or any other vehicle continues to be illegal and police will continue to enforce this law on B.C.’s roads. Now, with these changes for limousines with perimeter seating, government will be better able to regulate the industry, ensuring that operators adhere to the strengthened terms and conditions of their licences,” remarked Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton.

Among those pleased with the new law are police and the families of victims, notes the Sun.

Limo operators who currently have applicable vehicles in their fleet will have until May 1 to get the new special licence, however new operators must comply immediately.

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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