Many would like to see ride-sharing in the capital.
But the most recent decision by the Passenger Transportation Board turned down island applications.
However, Victoria’s mayor believes it’s only a matter of time. Lisa Helps says it’s logical for the ride-sharing companies to explore the Vancouver market first. “I think it’s safe to say that our mobility future here does include ride-sharing. We’re not the province, we can’t approve them but certainly, we can continue to signal that they are welcome here,” Helps said.
The board turned down ReRyde Technologies and Kater, both applications focused in Greater Victoria and the island. The BC Taxi Association is behind Kater. It responded via a statement that ride-hailing will hurt the taxi industry because of no limit to ride-sharing vehicles, no defined operating area, price surging, a lack of accessible vehicles, and better ICBC insurance rates.
The minister of transportation, Claire Trevena, says they’ll work with taxi companies, but ride-hailing is here to stay.
“Our government is committed to working with both ride-hailing and taxi companies to address any outstanding issues in the coming months, and any future issues as they arise,” Trevena said.
And as for Vancouver? The head of western Canada Operations & Public Affairs at Uber, Michael van Hemmen, said the company is just waiting for final authorizations from ICBC, and a business license from the City of Vancouver.
“We expect Uber to be available in the next few days,” van Hemmen said.
Ride-hailing giants, Uber and Lyft have been approved for both Vancouver, and Whistler. The Board still has 20 applications to review, leaving only one ride-sharing service operating on the island – Green Coast in Tofino.