Kabu is the first ride-hailing service to be approved by the Passenger Transportation Board in the Okanagan-Kootenays-Cariboo region. (Facebook)

Ridesharing company with province-wide licensing to start in Metro Vancouver

The company is the first to be approved to operate province-wide

A B.C. ridesharing company was granted its first win last week – the green light to hit roadways province-wide – but now it must overcome another major obstacle before picking up customers: hiring enough qualified drivers.

The Passenger Transportation Board approved KABU Ride Inc.’s application to operate in each region on Feb. 7, giving it a head start in expanding outside of the Lower Mainland over mega-ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft.

KABU is a subsidiary of Richmond-based ride-hailing service GoKabu, which was operating in the Richmond area without a licence for roughly three years, but temporarily shuttered services while awaiting provincial approval.

Martin Van den Hemel, KABU’s director of communications, said the plan is to officially launch in Metro Vancouver over the coming weeks while the company talks with business leaders and civic officials around B.C. to “gauge the level of interest” in ride-hailing.

ALSO READ: 5 things you need to know to start using ridesharing

“KABU hopes to launch in Victoria in the next three months, hopefully sooner,” Van dem Hemel told Black Press Media. “As far as the rest of the province, our launches will be determined by how quickly we can sign up qualified drivers to our platform.”

In its application to the transportation board, KABU said it planned to first begin operations in the Lower Mainland, Victoria and Nanaimo.

Van dem Hemel said the company is confident it will be operating in Kelowna by the summer. The company expects that 40 vehicles will be able to pickup customers in Kelowna and Kamloops by the end of 2020, according to its operating application.

Finding drivers who have at least a Class 4 licence may prove as the most difficult challenge in getting the company’s wheels in motion, Van dem Hemel admitted.

But once up and running, KABU will work differently than other ride-hailing services by allowing a customer to choose the language of their driver.

“So if there’s a customer who doesn’t speak English well, and would like a driver who speaks Spanish, for example, they’ll be able to choose that, provided we’ve got enough Spanish-speaking drivers,” Van dem Hemel said.

The company’s app, which isn’t yet available for download, will first offer services in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ride hailing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

Pig destined for sanctuary goes missing from Cobble Hill farm

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Editorial: Mask wearing: innocuous advice has turned into polarizing war

Somehow, this innocuous recommendation has become a polarizing war for some.

UPDATED: Young deckhands backed out of fatal Arctic Fox II trip just before fishboat departed

Inexperienced twin brothers had ‘gut feeling’ and bailed before going to open ocean

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read