Urgent public need

Urgent public need

Sometimes there is an urgent need for passenger transportation services. In this situation, the Passenger Transportation Board (Board) will process applications based on "urgent public need." This is an exception to regular processing. Applications are not published and submissions are not solicited.

Examples of applications processed under urgent public need include:

  • A taxi service has recently gone out of business, leaving the public with no service
  • A taxi service is licensed, but not providing any service to residents
  • A transportation provider has been awarded a contract that starts immediately

The Board does not process applications as an urgent public need if:

  • There are other licensees in an area who can provide the service
  • An applicant is responsible for a delay in submitting an application or meeting application requirements
  • The service requested is not financially accessible to most of the public, for example, limousine
  • An applicant purchased a vehicle before submitting an application

When the Board considers an urgent public need request, it may look at factors such as:

  • Whether other licensees are available to provide the service to the public
  • Whether there is a real public demand for the service
  • How the urgency came to exist
  • Whether any of the urgency was due to the applicant’s delay
  • How long an area has been without a service

How can I get my application processed as urgent public need?

When you submit your application package, include a letter to the Board requesting your application be processed as an urgent public need. Include information to show that the public has an urgent need for your service. Information from other people that support your claims is useful to the Board. For example, if there is no taxi service in your community, a letter from your town council or local police service could confirm this.

If you claim an urgent public need, you must submit a complete application. Applications submitted under an urgent public need may be less detailed than an application where urgency may not be a factor. There must still be enough information in the application for the Board to assess applicant fitness, public need and whether approval of the application would promote sound economic conditions. If you need a licence to satisfy a contract, include the contract and a letter signed by the company representative.

Business plan: Business plans should provide a clear description of your service, your target customers and your operations. Plans should contain information to you show that you have the knowledge, skills, education/training and experience to run a transportation service.

Financial statements: Financial statements should show that you have the resources required to start and maintain the service and that you have developed realistic cash flow projections.

Public need: Public need is critical. You must provide objective evidence to support urgent public need. Why is there an urgent public need? Has a company stopped operating? Have you secured a new contract? 

If an application is too brief, the Board may start an investigation. This will delay the processing of your application.

If the Board refuses to process your application based on an urgent public need, your application will be published. At this time, you may want to add more detailed information to your package. The Board usually accepts such information until the end of the publication period.

How does the Board decide on urgent public need applications?

First the Board reviews the application considering the urgent public request. If the Board decides that the application should not be processed based on urgent public need, your application will be published to the Board website. The Board will communicate this to you. An urgent public need claim that is denied may take longer to process than if no urgent public need request had been made.

If the Board is satisfied that the application should be processed based on urgent public need it will review the application and issue a final decision in writing, with reasons. The decision will be published on the Board website. The Board has specific timelines for putting vehicles into service for approved urgent public need applications which may be shorter than regular application vehicle activations. The Board may also set a time limitation on the licence meaning that it expires a certain period from issuance, at which time the licensee must submit a new, complete application through the regular process.