BC Chamber welcomes ride sharing decision as Province endeavors to modernize taxi industry
The BC Chamber applauds the provincial government for today’s announcement that ride sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, will be coming to B.C. in time for the holidays this year.
“The BC Chamber has strongly advocated for the introduction of ride sharing services,” said Val Litwin, CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “In fact, today’s announcement by Ministers Todd Stone and Peter Fassbender echo recommendations made by the BC Chamber on how to move towards the introduction of ridesharing in a way that is responsible and fair to other transportation service providers.”
The recommendations made by the BC Chamber were based off a 2016 policy resolution backed by BC Chamber’s provincial network of 36,000 businesses.
Some of these recommendations include:
- Streamlining licensing requirements to ensure that the same safety standards are applied to both taxi and ride share providers, effectively phasing out the requirement for taxi drivers to obtain a Class 4 driver’s license;
- Ensuring that taxis retain exclusive rights to be hired by phone, at a taxi stand or hailed down on the street, whereas ride sharing services may only be hired through the company smartphone app; and
- Allowing taxi drivers to pick-up passengers outside the jurisdiction where they are licensed to ensure that that taxi drivers can operate on a level playing field by having the same access to provide services wherever and whenever a passenger needs a ride.
“Today’s announcement will also benefit B.C.’s booming tourism industry, which saw a 12% increase last year,” said Litwin. “Welcoming ride sharing services like Uber will bolster our transportation system so that tourists have an ample variety of options at their disposal to get around our cities and towns.”
The BC Chamber recognizes that there may be some initial reluctance from members of the taxi industry, however the Chamber firmly believes that the province has proposed initiatives to mitigate any negative impacts to the industry and allow it to remain competitive once ride sharing is introduced.
The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is “The Voice of Business in BC.”