Uride will launch across smaller cities in B.C. by the end of the 2019, their CEO says. (Black Press Media)

New ride-hailing company to launch in Victoria

The Thunder Bay-based company is currently looking for drivers

A new ride-hailing company is coming to B.C. communities left behind by the bigger players – but not Metro Vancouver.

Uride founder and CEO Cody Ruberto said the company has submitted an application to operate in all parts of the province, but will be focusing on smaller communities for now.

The Thunder Bay-based company is currently looking for drivers in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Kelowna and Prince George.

“We’re keeping an eye on Metro Vancouver but we’re currently running ads in those cities,” Cody Ruberto said.

Ruberto said he got the idea when he saw people in his hometown of Thunder Bay get left behind by ride-hailing.

“I would see people stranded with no rides, sometimes in -30 C weather,” he told Black Press Media by phone Thursday.

“I really wanted to solve this problem for Thunder Bay.”

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

Uride proved successful in Thunder Bay and Ruberto said soon other smaller communities were reaching out. Currently, the company operates throughout Ontario and in Winnipeg. It’s also looking to start operating in Saskatchewan.

Ruberto said the company’s aim is to curb impaired driving, especially in smaller cities where public transit isn’t always sufficient and taxis remain expensive.

He said teamwork is the key to making ride-hailing work in the small communities that giants like Uber and Lyft have passed by.

“Our drivers actually know each other and they all talk,” Ruberto said.

“We warn them in advance whenever theres a big night coming up.”

Although Uber and Lyft have expressed disappointment with B.C.’s Class 4 licensing requirement for ride-hailing, Ruberto said he’s not worried.

“We trust whatever the government has set,” he said.

“Just from speaking to our driver recruitment team, it hasn’t been that much of an issue”

Ruberto said he hopes to have Uride up and running in B.C. before the end of the year.

READ MORE: New ride-hailing app says it will operate across B.C.

READ MORE: Transportation minister outlines ‘widespread concerns’ about ride-hailing in B.C.

READ MORE: Nine Vancouver-area taxi companies ask B.C. Supreme Court to quash ride-hailing rules


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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

People resort to home haircuts or #coronacuts as pandemic continues

Quarantine haircuts posted on socialmedia with #coronacuts

Victoria brewery throws support behind still-operating restaurants

Vancouver Island Brewing initiates #TakeOutTuesday to keep local eateries in the public eye

VicPD reunites four-year-old boy with family after he snuck out a window

The boy was spotted wandering alone on Wednesday morning

Drive-through COVID-19 testing underway at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

It is not clear when testing started or how many tests have already happened

GAIN Group offers complimentary delivery services to customers and local health care workers

Vancouver Island customers and health care workers supported by group

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

North Cowichan to police popular trails to ensure physical distancing

“You can expect delays accessing Mount Tzouhalem, or even to be turned away.”

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read