Uber hopes to launch holiday season in Kelowna, Victoria

Uber hopes to launch holiday season in Kelowna, Victoria

One of the world’s largest carpooling companies hopes to have a presence in Kelowna and Victoria this winter.

On Wednesday, Uber announced it had filed for a license transfer from another rideshare company to operate in additional regions of BC.

“Uber operates in more than 140 municipalities across the country and is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in Canada this year,” the company said in a press release.

“Uber launched ridesharing in British Columbia from Vancouver in January 2020. Since then, rides in Metro Vancouver now outnumber taxis by 2-1. Uber has been looking to expand into the Victoria and Kelowna regions since launching in Vancouver in 2020.”

Story continues under ad

According to Uber, before approving a license transfer, BC’s Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) will examine a company’s ability to provide the proposed service.

Two years ago, the PTB gave Uber the go-ahead to operate on the Lower Mainland, but rejected the application for Kelowna and Victoria, saying, “It was not “convinced that there is a public need for the requested service”.

“Fortunately, the PTB has determined on two separate occasions that Uber is fit and appropriate and capable. And our track record remains strong,” Uber said on Wednesday.

The company does not know when the PTB will make a decision, but hopes for sometime during the holiday period.

In particular, Uber says that Victoria and Kelowna are the two largest metropolitan areas in Canada where it does not operate.

Story continues under ad

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran called Uber’s application good news, adding, “Uber’s arrival in Kelowna is much too late.”

“We embrace providing diverse transportation options for residents and visitors alike, with the aim of reducing both car dependency and the need for parking, while increasing mobility options,” said Basran.

“Safety is one of the biggest reasons why we are strong supporters of choosing ride-hailing in Kelowna. Other cities have documented a drop in drink-driving rates after taxi companies began operations.

“From an equity perspective, the on-demand transportation industry enables an income boost for those struggling with a high cost of living, and on their own timeline/schedule with little investment.”

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps echoed those comments.

“The City of Victoria welcomes additional transportation options that help people and businesses connect our community,” said Helps.

Story continues under ad

“Ridesharing companies provide secure, reliable and affordable on-demand services that meet the expectations of our residents and visitors.

“We have heard from local companies, entrepreneurs and our catering industry that there is an immediate demand for these services.”

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *