Good news for those who have been waiting for more ride-sharing options in B.C.’s capital city.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, popular ride-sharing company Uber announced that it has submitted an application to the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board to expand operations to Victoria and Kelowna this year.
The company says there has been significant interest in Uber’s services in the two cities over the past year, with around 100,000 people opening the Uber app in Victoria and Kelowna in that time.
“With the launch of Uber, ideally in time for the holiday season, we look forward to more safe, reliable, and affordable rides for Victoria and Kelowna residents,” said Michael van Hemmen, the company’s Head of City Operations in Canada, in the statement.
“In the meantime, we encourage all qualified drivers with a Class 1, 2, or 4 license to sign up at drive.uber.com.”
Uber has been operating in the Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley region for six months before making the decision to expand to other parts of the province.
During the pandemic, the company has instated and indefinitely extended a ‘No Mask. No Ride.’ policy wherein both drivers and passengers are required to wear a mask for the duration of their trip.
Drivers are required to take a selfie of themselves wearing a mask to verify that they are following this rule, and come September, passengers who are reported to not wear a mask will also be asked to take a selfie of themselves wearing a mask before they can book a future trip.
At the moment, Victoria only has one ride-sharing app available: Kabu Ride Inc. That company was approved to operate in the capital by the PTB in February 2020.
Uber’s application is expected to take three months to process.