(Dan Gold/Unsplash)

The first-ride hailing company has been approved for operation on the whole of Vancouver Island!

Starting in January 2020, a number of organizations have been approved for operation on the mainland and in Vancouver. Now, Victoria can now also boast its first approval. 

The Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) announced on Friday, February 7th that Kabu Ride Inc. is now licensed to operate in the CRD and on the rest of Vancouver Island.

According to their website, KABU is a Canadian ride-hailing software development firm that has been in operation in Vancouver since 2016. 

They say they have helped to provide more than one million rides to tens of thousands of their customers.

KABU was co-founded by university students Billy Xiong and Austin Zhang. The ride-hailing app can be used straight from WeChat, a popular social media and messaging app within Canada’s Chinese community. 

See more: BC releases new controversial rules on ride sharing 

The PTB announced two approvals and three rejections in their most recent release.

“The decisions were made after a careful review of the extensive materials received during the application process which included supporting information provided by the applicants and submissions from interested members of the public and stakeholders,” the PTB said.

KABU serving an underrepresented market: PTB

In their decision to approve KABU, the PTB cited the ride-hailing application’s as catering to an underrepresented market.

“The company has identified an under-served and growing niche market across Canada that focuses on transportation for minority groups. This includes new immigrants, international students, and tourists,” the PTB said. 

“KABU also says that by speaking in their native language and providing services via familiar channels (such as social media channels popular in their home country), KABU can capture market share that other service providers have shown little or no interest in.”

Victoria Buzz has reached out to KABU for comment.