Uber working to acquire drivers in Kelowna and Victoria, B.C. | Canadian

Uber has set its sights on Kelowna and Victoria, but before the rubber finally hits the pavement in those B.C. cities, the ridesharing service needs to line up drivers.

“There are many people wanting to drive and unlock flexible earning opportunities so they can work when and where they want,” an Uber representative said in an email.

“We are hosting in-person events the week of October 31 for those interested in driving to answer questions and get all their documents ready.”

The Victoria session is 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, at the Delta Hotel on Harbour Road. The Kelowna event is 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Fairfield Inn and Suits at 1655 Powick Road.

In late August, Uber submitted a request to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) to take over the licence of ReRyde, a ride-hailer that was granted a licence to operate in areas outside of the Lower Mainland in August 2020.

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In a press release from the summer, Uber said that they intended to be up and running by the holiday season. But for that to be the case, B.C’s Passenger Transportation Board will examine whether the company is capable of providing the proposed service.


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Two years ago, the PTB gave Uber the green light to operate in the Lower Mainland, but rejected its application for Kelowna and Victoria, saying “it wasn’t “convinced there exists a public need for the service applied for.”

Mayors for both cities endorsed the move when the application announcement was made, collectively citing increased road safety and job opportunities as well as increased benefits to tourism operators.

Cab companies, however, are still in opposition.


Click to play video: 'Taxi industry in Kelowna says Uber is inevitable but timing all wrong to let the ridesharing company operate right now.'


Taxi industry in Kelowna says Uber is inevitable but timing all wrong to let the ridesharing company operate right now.


Ted Wiltshire, president and director of Checkmate Cabs in Kelowna, said the Kelowna-area market is not large enough to support both the taxi industry and ridesharing companies, at least not yet.

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“We’ve had this discussion numerous times,” Wiltshire said. “Bar flush in Kelowna is one example. You can put 2,000 cars on for those couple hours, but then what do you do with them after that?”

Uber launched ridesharing in British Columbia starting in Vancouver in January 2020. Since then, rideshare trips in Metro Vancouver now outnumber taxis two to one. Uber has been looking to expand to the Victoria and Kelowna regions since its launch in Vancouver in 2020.

— with files from Global’s Klaudia Emmerik

&copy 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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