URide ads will soon start running in Victoria as the ride-sharing company gears up to come to B.C. and Vancouver Island.
“We have submitted our application and we are very excited for that,” said Cody Ruberto, URide Founder, and CEO.
It works the same as Uber and Lyft. With a click of a button, you order a car through an app, as well as track your driver and pay right on the app. The difference is unlike Uber and Lyft, that are focusing only on Vancouver, URide is not.
“We really want to focus on these mid and small market communities where other companies have said they are not willing to go,” said Ruberto.
Ruberto started URide in Thunder Bay a small community in Northern Ontario where he is from to combat impaired driving and long taxi wait times. The company is also already operating in five other cities across Ontario and Manitoba with different regulations, so Ruberto says he’s not afraid of a little red tape.
“We do operate in places that have a lot of regulation and some places are difficult to get drivers through but we still think that despite Class 4 licensing and different steps like that to become a driver we still think we can make an impact,” said Ruberto.
Uber and Lyft have said they’re both not coming to Vancouver Island because the stricter regulations like mandatory Class 4 licences, would make it difficult to recruit enough drivers but that may not be the case.
ICBC says in August they saw an increased number of people taking the written Class 4 licence exam and Kate Wells of DriveWise driving school has also seen it and only expects it to get bigger.
“The big influx I think is going to be coming in the next few months, ” said Wells.
Which explains why recruitment for URide hasn’t been an issue.
“We’ve informed everyone that they do need those Class 4’s it’s not scaring off a lot of people so far it’s been positive,” said Ruberto.
One of those hopeful applicants is John Vickers a retiree looking to supplement his income and get out in the community.
“I was completely homebound for a couple of years so getting out and about every day is something I really enjoy and why not get paid for it,” said Vickers.
He’s already started the process and hopes to get a road test appointment next week but Wells says that is where the problem will likely lie.
“In some of our locaitons you can’t even book a road test right now, so it’s going to put a strain on the system that is already hurting,” said Wells.
URide says once they get the green light from the province they’d be ready to launch as soon as they have enough drivers so when that will be? Is clearly in the hands of ICBC.
ICBC tells CHEK News they are monitoring the demand for class 4 testing and if the demand continues to increase they will also increase the number of available road test appointments.
To apply to drive for URide go to their website.