[MEDIA RELEASE] Legislation needed for rideshare technology applications in B.C.

Victoria B.C. - The Rideshare Enabling Act was introduced today in the BC Legislature by Andrew Weaver, Leader of the B.C. Green Party and MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head.

“The sharing economy exists and it’s going to get bigger,” says Weaver. “Rideshare technology is a part of that new economy and we need to create rules so that these industries don’t operate in a vacuum.”

Ridesharing, a driver using their personal vehicle to accept a trip request from a rider using mobile technology, is an international phenomenon with dozens of technology companies participating. Governments around the world and across Canada have embraced ridesharing to increase transportation options, encourage less personal car ownership, reduce impaired driving, create more income opportunities, and facilitate more efficient transportation. To date, over 70 states and cities across the United States and many more around the world have adopted ridesharing regulations.

Today Weaver introduced his private member's bill with the intention of starting a conversation about what legislation would best meet the needs of British Columbians. This process needs to involve intensive consultation with municipal governments, the BC Taxi Association, and British Columbians across the province.

“Public safety must be a priority as we move forward with ridesharing in this province and to do so we need to legislate certain common standards. We need to ensure that anyone participating as a driver in rideshare technology doesn’t have a criminal record or history of reckless driving. Refusing to discuss the issue is not helping.”

“I’m hopeful the government takes a look at the bill I brought forward and realizes that they need to address this situation soon and cannot continue to keep their heads in the sand. We need smart regulations that don’t create an unfair market.” 

Media Contact
Mat Wright – Press Secretary
Office of Andrew Weaver, MLA
1 250 216 3382
[email protected]


Canadian Regulations

Alberta - on Feb 29, 2016 committed to approve a new ridesharing insurance product by July 1st.

Edmonton - on January 27, 2016 became the first Canadian city to adopt unique ridesharing regulations with their Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw 17400 .

Calgary - Calgary city council approved a bylaw to start April 4, 2016 that would allow ridesharing services to become legal, but in February, 2016 Uber said it would not operate under the new “unacceptable” regulations.

Ottawa - on March 30th, 2016 released a new ridesharing regulatory framework that creates unique regulations for the ridesharing business, plans to open road to ridesharing by summer. 

Ontario -  in Budget 2016 committed to approving new ridesharing insurance products.

Toronto - on April 7th, 2016 released a proposed ridesharing framework that creates unique regulations for the ridesharing business. It will need to be approved by both the licensing and standards committee and city council before going into effect and many councillors are criticizing it for being too lax on ridesharing companies.

Quebec - has committed to introducing ridesharing legislation before the end of the spring 2016 session.

Examples of International Regulations

California, USA - ridesharing companies are licensed under a unified licensing framework. Individual drivers are not required to obtain a license, and there are no restrictions on the number of people who can drive.

Canberra, Australia - the Australian Capital Territory government passed the country’s first rideshare legislation, where ridesharing companies are required to ensure that prospective drivers meet driving record checks, are legally able to work and satisfy specific suitability criteria.

Philippines - the Philippine Transportation and Communication Secretary enacted a new department order on “Promoting Mobility” that requires ridesharing services to provide transparent information about fares before trips

Mexico City, Mexico - the Ministry of Mobility passed a decree licensing ridesharing services that expressly does not impose price controls or license caps in order to support the growth of the rideshare market.

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