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“The traditional boundaries that define where taxis can and can’t operate are outdated and don’t represent our modern need for an integrated transportation network for a growing population,” Johal said.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

Slideshow: Hope’s winter weather in photos

Readers submit photos of Hope under a blanket of snow

RCMP looking for tips in rash of crime in Hope

Theives broke into homes and cars in the Kawkawa Lake area

Fraser Cascade superintendent announces retirement

Dr. Karen Nelson has worked for School District 78 for 29 years

FVRD seeking outdoor rec feedback

Open house meetings slated for next week

Not over yet: Mixture of snow, freezing rain on way as winter storm tapers in Lower Mainland

Environment Canada releases weather alert for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

VIDEO: Newbie Vancouver Giants leads victory over Victoria 4-1 Friday

The G-Men play Saturday in Victoria before hosting Kamloops on home ice in Langley Sunday afternoon

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Should winter tires be mandatory in the Lower Mainland?

ICBC dial-a-claims go up as winter storm takes toll

Canada Post driver in hospital after ice smashes windshield at Massey Tunnel

Incident happened on Richmond side of the Massey Tunnel

Abbotsford bank ATM robbery thwarted by woman standing her ground

Police arrest alleged known robber running down South Fraser wearing balaclava

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Fire truck, police car hit in chain of crashes on Hwy. 99

‘People weren’t paying attention,’ says Surrey assistant fire chief

Most Read