Taxi and ride-sharing regulations in B.C. would be better with stronger competition

News release

February 4, 2019 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau is urging policy makers in British Columbia to re-think provincial taxi regulations and make them better for consumers and businesses alike by applying the principles of competition.

In line with its report on Modernizing Regulation in the Canadian Taxi Industry, the Bureau encourages B.C.’s Select Standing Committee on Crown Corporations to level  the playing field for taxis and ride-sharing providers, allowing them to compete more effectively with each other for passengers.

In response to the committee’s request for comment, the Bureau makes the following evidence-based recommendations:

  • Ensure that regulations are fair and do not favour either taxi providers or ride-sharing platforms;
  • Provide drivers with the flexibility to choose their own service areas, rather than requiring drivers to stay within limited geographic boundaries;
  • Allow market forces to determine how many drivers are available to serve passengers; and
  • Let pricing be determined by market forces to ensure the best outcomes for both drivers and passengers.

The Bureau believes that applying these recommendations will increase competition in the B.C. ride-hailing industry. Increased competition generally leads to more innovative products, lower prices, and higher quality services.

Quotes

“Ride-sharing platforms have transformed the ride-hailing industry and revolutionized the way Canadians travel. We welcome the opportunity to make recommendations to B.C.’s Select Standing Committee that will help regulators and policymakers create a pro-competitive environment for the benefit of B.C. consumers.”

Matthew Boswell
Interim Commissioner of Competition

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