Report: Canadians spent $1.31 billion on ridesharing services last year

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A recently released report from the Canadian government indicates that the sharing economy is slowly growing in popularity among Canadians.

The report estimates that just 9.5 percent of Canadian residents, or 2.7 million people, have participated in the sharing economy through services like ride sharing or home sharing between November 2015 and October 2016.

Some of the most commonly cited sharing-economy-driven businesses are the American firms Uber and Airbnb, While both Uber and Airbnb are allowed to operate in Toronto (in Uber’s case, as late as last year), they are not legal everywhere in Canada.

In addition, however, spending on sharing economy services among Canadian residents totalled $1.31 billion CAD.

Who uses sharing economy services?

The report defines the sharing economy as “an activity facilitated by digital platforms where people rent their skills (such as, driving or computer skills) and make their resources (such as properties or cars) available for money.”

When looking at each service individually, seven percent of those surveyed have used peer-to-peer ride services like Uber, and 4.2 percent of those surveyed have used private accommodation services like Airbnb. Spending on new mobility services reached $241 million, while more than $1 billion was spent on rental services.

Furthermore, the use of peer-to-peer ride sharing services was far higher among young people in comparison to other demographics. While the use of these services was highest for users between the ages of 25 and 34 at 14.6 percent, and for users between 18 to 24 at 13.5 percent.

The highest proportion of this use of Canada’s eight metropolitan areas is rooted in Ottawa-Gatineau, where 17.6 precent of people aged 18 or older have reported using a peer-to-peer ride sharing service.

On the other hand however, the use of private accommodation services was highest among Canadians aged between 25 and 34 at 8.6 percent. Rates among those aged 35-44 are 4.8 percent and rates among those aged 18 to 24 are 4.4 percent. This is an interesting shift from peer-t0-peer ride sharing services where youth were largely the most prominent users.

Where are they using them?

While these percentages may seem low, this could be related to the low number of Canadians that currently offer ride sharing services along with their evolving legal status.

Currently, approximately 75 thousand respondents confirmed offering ride sharing or mobility services, 75 percent of which live in Ontario. In addition, 69 thousand adults living in Canada reported providing short term rental services, the proportions of which are almost equally divided across Ontario (31.1 percent), Quebec (24.6 percent) or British Columbia (25.1 percent.)

The data used to compile this report was collected during the months between October, 2015 and November 2016. The answers were provided through seven questions added to the October 2016 Labour Force Survey.

This article was originally published on MobileSyrup