For Immediate Release
Feb. 24, 2016
VANCOUVER, B.C. — A research paper by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade recommends the Government of British Columbia introduce new regulations that would pave the way for ridesharing across the province, while also launching a review of the Passenger Transportation Act and overhauling regulations to enable the traditional taxi industry to be more competitive.
The paper, which was submitted to the government earlier this month, argues that the Greater Vancouver region is in desperate need of new and innovative transportation options, as it grapples with congested roadways and crowded public transit.
“It’s becoming clear that our residents want more transportation options, and as a result, so do municipal governments across the region,” says Iain Black, President and CEO. “The time has come to modernize our provincial regulations, adapt to the changing world around us, and embrace innovative new transportation options such as ridesharing.”
The report points to a recent survey that found 70 per cent of Lower Mainland residents are in favour of allowing ridesharing services to operate in B.C. and notes that the municipalities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Langley Township have all come out in favour of ridesharing in recent weeks.
In light of that, the paper makes the following four recommendations to the province:
- Establish a provincial regulatory framework which introduces ridesharing and provides residents with greater access to safe and reliable passenger transportation options.
- Review and update taxi regulations to enable the industry to effectively compete against new services and provide consumers with the benefits of a more competitive ride-for-hire market.
- Modernize provincial regulations and harmonize municipal regulations to remove unnecessary red tape and establish a regulatory regime which fosters innovation and competition, while safeguarding public transit.
- Direct ICBC to consult with stakeholders in developing insurance products suitable for part-time and flexible vehicle-for-hire work and is applicable to both the taxi and ridesharing industries.
“We are at a crucial intersection. We need to begin reducing the number of vehicles on our roadways, and the best ways to accomplish that is to invest in public transit infrastructure and embrace innovative transportation options that offer alternatives to conventional driving and car ownership,” says Black.
Black notes that Greater Vancouver is currently the largest metropolitan area in North America that doesn’t allow ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and Blablacar — services that are proliferating in other markets across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
“Greater Vancouver is now one of the most heavily congested regions in North America, and that comes with a high price tag to our local economy,” says Black. “Studies estimate that congestion costs our regional economy upwards of $1.4 billion every year. Our hope is that innovative transportation options such as ridesharing can help us reduce congestion and move people in a safe and efficient manner, before our economy is stalled even further.”
For more information, read the full report.
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to positively impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one third of B.C.’s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events businesses in the country, providing a platform for national and international business and thought leaders to further enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade