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“The traditional boundaries that define where taxis can and can’t operate are outdated and don’t represent our modern need for an integrated transportation network for a growing population,” Johal said.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

IN THE PAGES: Libraries offer online educational alternatives for kids

Maple Ridge librarian Sarah Jost suggests a few websites parents might want to check out this fall

SHARE: Views offered from local dikes

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Sunny skies expected across Lower Mainland this week

After weeks of rain and smoke, Environment Canada forecasts clear skies and steady warm temperatures

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Ridge Meadows Hospital executive director an “out-of-the-box” thinker

Rich Dillon brings years of valuable experience with Vancouver Coastal Health

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

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

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read