Uber to apply for ride-hailing licence in B.C., will operate in Lower Mainland

Uber joins Lyft in planning to operate in province

Uber has become the latest ride-hailing company to say they’ll apply for a licence in B.C.

In a brief Wednesday morning social media post, the company said they plan to go to the BC Passenger Transportation Board to apply for a licence to operate in B.C.

The province has said companies can begin applying for the licence on Sept. 3. Applications will take about six to eight weeks to process.

Both Uber and and Lyft, which announced it would join the ride-hailing market in B.C. earlier this summer, say they’ll operate only in the Lower Mainland for now.

In an email, an Uber spokesperson said its licence will cover Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Squamish and Lillooet, but “the specific communities where Uber would be available will not be finalized until closer to a launch date, based on the number of qualified driver-partners who sign up to use the app.”

READ MORE: B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

READ MORE: Lyft to launch ride-hailing in Lower Mainland before end of year

Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s head of Western Canada operations, said the company is encouraging drivers to start the process to obtain a Class 4 commercial driver’s licence, which B.C. requires for driving a ride-hailing vehicle.

“We’re optimistic that Uber will be here for the busy holiday season,” van Hemmen said.

Lyft and Uber’s applications are for the Passenger Transportation Board (PBT) region one, which includes Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Squamish, Whistler and Lillooet. Once they apply, operators can specify which part of the region they wish to serve.

The PBT also regulates taxi companies, and intends to maintain the historical municipal boundaries for cabs. Taxi companies protested the change, saying it gives ride-hailing companies an unfair advantage. That prompted the B.C. Liberal Party to call for taxis to be given the same boundaries.

B.C. Liberal MLA Jas Johal said suburban taxi drivers, including members of the B.C. Taxi Association, want the municipal boundaries eliminated so they can compete on a level playing field with ride-hailing companies. He said the current system, with the Class 4 licence restriction, may force operators like Lyft and Uber to leave out Surrey, Delta or other suburban regions.

“The traditional boundaries that define where taxis can and can’t operate are outdated and don’t represent our modern need for an integrated transportation network for a growing population,” Johal said.

Regional district boundaries are used to define five ride hailing operating zones in B.C.: Lower Mainland-Whistler, Capital, Vancouver Island outside the capital region, Okanagan-Kootenay-Boundary-Cariboo and a fifth region taking in the rest of the province.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

OPINION: Beautiful B.C. – Isn’t it great? Shhh… Don’t tell anyone!

Huge numbers flocked to popular Chilliwack River Valley on Labour Day weekend

Tammy Wood earns top prize on Food Network’s ‘Wall of Chefs’

Former MasterChef contestant takes home $10,000 prize, beats out three other contenders

Say ‘Hi’ to the mountains (and rain): The smoke is gone from the Fraser Valley, for now

Saturday’s Fraser Valley air quality forecast at ‘moderate risk,’ but morning showers leave skies clear

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read