Uber and Lyft may not operate in B.C.’s capital, but a lesser-known ride-hailing company has received official approval to launch in Victoria.
Canadian company Uride says in a news release it has received its business licence to operate in the city and is hoping to launch in September, three years after it first expressed interest in moving into the Capital Region.
Uride works the same as other ride-hailing services. Users can order a car to pick them up via an app, as well as track their driver and pay right on the app.
Drivers will only be able to pick up passengers within Victoria city limits to start, but can drop them off anywhere in Greater Victoria. The company says it hopes to quickly expand pick-up services to the rest of the region.
“Our entire team is thrilled about our expansion into Victoria,” said Ravi Dhami, regional operations manager for Western Canada, in a news release. “We understand that accessing reliable transportation is a struggle for the people of Victoria and we plan on coming in and addressing that need. We’re looking forward to providing safe, reliable and affordable transportation with the ultimate goal of eliminating impaired driving.”
Uride is now hiring drivers in the region, offering a $500 sign-on bonus for part-time and up to $1,500 per week for drivers who join the company’s “All Star Program.” The company says it will also cover startup costs including those associated with upgrading to a Class 4 licence, which is required to operate a ride-hailing vehicle, safety and background checks.
According to its website, Uride says its cars have an average pick-up time of under 10 minutes and that all drivers and vehicles are “thoroughly vetted” before going into service. The company also claims its pricing is between 15 to 40 per cent cheaper than taxis in the regions it operates in.
Uride launched services in Kelowna and Kamloops earlier this year, and says it plans to be operating in Nanaimo and Prince George by the end of 2022.