Statement | Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce Supports Move Toward Regional Business License for Ride-hailing

 

The Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce congratulates the Translink Mayors’ Council on the decision to fast-track the development of a regional ride hailing license that will reduce red-tape and compliance costs in this emerging sector. The regional license push is a joint action between the 23 local and municipal governments in Metro Vancouver, but could potentially include all willing municipalities between Hope in the Fraser Valley and Pemberton in the Sea-to-Sky region. The December 12th decision is a step forward in regional coordination of ride-hailing licenses that would otherwise have been developed piece-meal by individual municipalities, each with their own fee structures and licensing costs.  

Without a regional approach ride hailing providers might choose to operate only in more lucrative municipalities such as Vancouver, given the cumulative regulatory and financial burden posed by patchwork licensing from municipality to municipality. This could leave some parts of the region under-served, likely suburban areas such as the Tri-Cities.

The cities of Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Port Coquitlam had already started the process of creating a sub-regional ride hailing business license for the Tri-Cities while appealing for a larger regional license to be established. We are pleased to see that the proactive efforts of our regional municipalities has helped convince the Mayors’ Council of the need for a regional license. 

As the process towards a regional license will take many months, the Tri-Cities Chamber supports the recommendation from Translink that in the interim “municipalities aim for as much consistency as possible in their individual municipal business license bylaws to lay a strong foundation for an eventual Inter-municipal business license.”(1.) Alternatively, Translink also suggests that municipalities could “provide a temporary exemption for the need to obtain a business license. This is an approach that a number of municipalities are currently considering and would avoid overburdening ride hailing operators with cumulative license fees which, in their totality, are potentially prohibitive.”(2.) 

 

  1. “Public Agenda – December 12, 2019.” Translink. December 12, 2019. URL: https://www.translink.ca/-/media/Documents/about_translink/governance_and_board
    /council_minutes_and_reports/2019/december/20191209_Public_Board_Meeting_Agenda_Package.pdf
  2.  “On-Table Report – Ride-hailing.” Translink. December 12, 2019. URL: https://www.translink.ca/-/media/Documents/about_translink/governance_and_board/
    council_minutes_and_reports/2019/december/20191212_on_table_report.pdf