Surrey Board of Trade Pleased With Today’s Ridesharing Announcement by BC Government

The Surrey Board of Trade’s policy recommendations last year to the BC Government were that the BC Government bring forward ridesharing regulations that establish province-wide rules for safety and consumer protection. In addition, the Surrey Board of Trade asked the BC Government to evaluate and remove unnecessary red tape on existing transportation providers to create a level playing field.

“Today’s announcement to move towards creating a framework for a single licensing regime, review of insurance programming and room for additional feedback and consultation is a good step towards creating more transportation options for BC residents,” said Anita Huberman, CEO Surrey Board of Trade.

“BC residents are also looking for ways to increase the affordability of living in Metro Vancouver and throughout the province. The Taxi industry is overregulated and new business models of transportation are expanding globally. BC needs to introduce Ridesharing legislation and remove red tape on our taxi industry to improve transportation affordability and flexibility.”

Ridesharing, the ability of an average driver who has been through appropriate safety screening to use their personal vehicle to connect with a rider via a smartphone, is a key sector in the sharing economy. Ridesharing is currently available in hundreds of cities around the world, providing a new transportation option and flexible income opportunities for those wanting to drive. Regulations are required to provide the needed support for innovative transportation options and reassure the public that the service is safe.

The sharing economy is providing new economic opportunities for individuals and small businesses to increase the utilization of their assets by connecting with new customers via technology. PWC estimates that in 2013 the sharing economy generated $15B in annual revenue compared to $240B in the traditional rental sector. By 2025, it estimates that both sectors will grow to reach $335B for combined revenue of $670B.

“The provincial government has established the Passenger Transportation Act, ICBC, Motor Vehicle Act and these mechanisms can provide province-wide safety and licensing standards for ridesharing.”