The Vancouver Board of Trade is asking the province to modernize the regulatory framework in order to allow taxis and ride sharing services to co-exist.
President and CEO Iain Black says the Board of Trade commissioned a paper recommending a four point plan.
“First is to revisit the regulatory framework around taxis as exists today. The second is to establish a new regulatory framework that introduces ride sharing to the province. The third is to modernize the Passenger Transportation Act. And the fourth is to work with ICBC to have them consult there stakeholders and then develop appropriate insurance offerings that don’t currently exist.”
Black says ICBC has an important role to play.
“Currently there are not appropriate insurance offerings for ride sharing entities. Even with taxis there are some fairly restrictive elements to the insurance offerings offered by ICBC. So we are hopeful as part of this recommendation to government they will instruct ICBC to consult with stakeholders and actually come up with some innovative solutions.”
Black says the Passenger Transportation Act hasn’t been updated in a decade and its long overdue.
He also wants some regulatory changes.
“To both review and update the taxi regulations to ensure that taxis can compete. They shouldn’t need different plates for different parts of the lower mainland. But also we point to a recent report out of New Orleans that showed that after the introduction of some ride sharing options the demand for taxis actually went up.”
Black says Board of Trade research determined Vancouver has fewer taxis, just 1,500 for 2.5 million people in the region, than any other Canadian city.
He says Vancouver would need to add 1,900 new taxis just to meet what is on the road in Calgary today.
Black says to make things worse Vancouver also has higher taxi rates than any other Canadian city
He says ride sharing companies can help encourage competition and address supply issues.
Read the Board of Trade paper in full HERE