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Board of Trade has advocated for new industry framework for more than two years

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Today, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade calls on all Members of the Legislative Assembly to work together to enable British Columbians to access innovative transportation options. The Provincial Government should act quickly to introduce ridesharing in B.C. while also modernizing the traditional taxi industry.

"With the fall legislative session now well underway, we urge the provincial government to make immediate, meaningful steps toward greater mobility in our region," said Iain Black, President and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. "Throughout the last provincial election, our Members made clear that we need more choice when it comes to passenger transportation. All three party leaders pledged to pass ridesharing enabling legislation by the end of the year, and we call on the new government to follow through."

For more than two years, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been a leading voice advocating for the introduction of ridesharing in B.C. and the modernization of the taxi industry.

Most recently, the GVBOT worked together with 11 other organizations to publish a joint op-ed asking for the immediate introduction of ridesharing in British Columbia. This group included the B.C. Tech Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, the Cruise Lines International Association, the Downtown Vancouver BIA, B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, the Urban Development Institute, the Surrey Board of Trade, and more.

In February 2016, GBVOT issued a research paper entitled Innovative Transportation Options for Metro Vancouver in conjunction with its Regional Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The report made four specific recommendations to the Provincial Government, including:

  1. Establish a provincial regulatory framework which introduces ridesharing and provides residents with greater access to safe and reliable passenger transportation options.
  2. 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.
  3. Modernize provincial regulations and municipal regulations to remove unnecessary red tape and establish a regulatory regime which fosters innovation and competition, while safeguarding public transit.
  4. Direct the Insurance Corporation of B.C. to consult with stakeholders in developing insurance products suitable for part-time and flexible vehicle-for-hire work and both the taxi and ridesharing industries.

GVBOT's 2017 Provincial Election Platform also called for legislation that enables ridesharing and modernizes the taxi industry. "The time has come for British Columbia to embrace new transportation technology and trends. At the same time, we need to enable our traditional taxi industry to modernize and compete on a similar playing field," said Black. "We believe both can be achieved, and we are seeing evidence of that in 40 other jurisdictions across Canada where ridesharing is already part of the transportation mix."

While transportation issues in the Lower Mainland have been a central focus of GVBOT for over a century, in recent years GVBOT has led the regional public and business community conversation around innovative transportation options over the past two years, including hosting events with Uber's Chief Advisor David Plouffe in September 2015 (listen to audio) and October 2016 (listen to audio), as well as with the Vancouver Taxi Association in June 2016 (listen to audio).

Background:

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 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 programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.'s business leaders.

Media enquiries:

Greg Hoekstra
Communications Manager
Greater Vancouver Board of Trade
604-640-5450 |

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