The City of Enderby presented to a Government of BC Select Standing Committee on January 8 regarding the benefits of ride-sharing in small, rural, and remote communities.
“We were thrilled to be invited by the Province to share a small community perspective on the benefits of ride-sharing,” said Councillor Brian Schreiner, who was the lead presenter.
The teleconference presentation provided an opportunity for Committee members to ask questions of Enderby.
“I was really impressed by the questions that the Committee asked of us,” said Councillor Schreiner. “It was obvious that they were very up on the issues and wanted to learn more about our perspective. I think that it is very important that the conversation is not dominated purely by large urban markets, as there are unique challenges and opportunities in small communities that need to be considered.”
In small communities, public transportation options are often limited. This makes it difficult for seniors to get to medical appointments, for instance. Small communities have different needs and ridership demands, in part because of the lack of other transportation options.
Mayor Greg McCune observed that ride-sharing could form part of the solution. “We think that it is critical that the forthcoming Provincial legislation provides flexibility so that ride-sharing has the best shot at being viable in small communities. There needs to be flexibility so that it is not prohibitive for casual or part-time drivers to participate.”
Councillor Schreiner stated that “ride-sharing is about putting one more transportation option on the table. That needs to be done in a way that is safe, reliable, and fair, but also attainable in the small community context.”
“Our argument was pretty simple,” continued Mayor McCune. “In small communities where there is less access to services, there is the greatest need for transportation options. However, these same small markets are less likely to attract alternative transportation options under an onerous regulatory regime. So let’s ensure that the conversation, and the eventual regulation, provides a way for communities both large and small to benefit from ride-sharing in a way that is equitable.”
In 2017, the City of Enderby put forth a resolution urging the Government of BC to adopt a flexible ride-sharing regulation with attention given to solving passenger transportation challenges unique to small, rural, and remote communities. The resolution was endorsed by the Southern Interior Local Government Association and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.