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“The traditional boundaries that define where taxis can and can’t operate are outdated and don’t represent our modern need for an integrated transportation network for a growing population,” Johal said.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

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Chorus expands online options to in-person rehearsal in Langford, Oak Bay

Free, non-auditioned SingYourJoy recruits those aged 16 to 29

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read