Today in the legislature I tabled a private member’s bill: Bill M221 — Rideshare Enabling Act, 2016. This bill is intended to start a public dialogue about the rules we need to make ridesharing a reality for British Columbia.
Provinces and cities across Canada and throughout North America have been using ridesharing technology for years. But BC struggles to articulate a vision for promoting innovation in the tech sector. In fact, 22 CEOs and founders from Vancouver’s tech industry recently wrote an open letter to the BC government stating “we are compelled to express our concern regarding the provincial government’s long-standing inaction on ridesharing regulation in B.C. and how we now find ourselves falling behind the rest of the world.”
British Columbians have only heard mixed things from the government on the topic of ridesharing. When the cabinet minister responsible for developing regulations for ridesharing services calls these emerging companies ‘pushy’, it doesn’t set the right tone.”
The BC Green Party will be launching a public survey on their website today that will give British Columbians a chance to take part in a conversation about ridesharing and the evolving creative economy. Results will be published later this spring.
In my view, it’s time the conversation was more transparent and engaged British Columbians about what they want to see happen with these innovative new services. There are numerous voices calling for this government to truly support the emerging tech sector. For some reason, they are having a hard time being heard by this government.
Below are the video and text of the introduction of my bill together with our accompanying media release.
A. Weaver: I move that a bill intituled Rideshare Enabling Act, 2016, of which notice has been given in my name, be introduced and read a first time now.
A. Weaver: I’m pleased to be introducing a bill intituled the Ride-Share Enabling Act, 2016. Ride-sharing is a key component of the new and emerging creative economy in British Columbia. While numerous jurisdictions around the world have passed legislation to allow for the introduction of ride-share technology in their markets, British Columbia is quickly falling behind. In fact, Vancouver is now the largest city in North America without an operating rideshare company such as Lyft or Uber.
Legislation is needed to provide provincial standards that must be followed for any for ride-sharing program to exist in our province. The Ride-Share Enabling Act, 2016, details the process by which a transport network company can operate in British Columbia.
It builds upon best practices in North America to outline the required driver and vehicle records to be provided by ride-share drivers. It further details the required ride-share driver background check and ride-share vehicle inspection and insurance requirements.
In January of this year, 22 CEOs and founders of key B.C.-based tech companies signed and released an open letter. The letter stated:
“We are compelled to express our concern regarding the provincial government’s long-standing inaction on ride-sharing regulation in B.C. and how we now find ourselves falling behind the rest of the world.“
This bill is aimed at ensuring that British Columbians remain at the forefront of innovation in the technology sector.
I move that the bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
Bill M221, Ride-Share Enabling Act, 2016, introduced, read a first time and ordered to be placed on orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House after today.
Media Release: April 11, 2016
Andrew Weaver – Legislation needed for rideshare technology application in BC
For Immediate Release
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.”
Mat Wright – Press Secretary Andrew Weaver MLA
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