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

UPDATE: Work on Massey Tunnel replacement on hold after snap election called

The business case for the new crossing was expected to be completed this fall

Horgan’s election call ‘nakedly opportunistic,’ political scientist says

Premier says campaign will ‘fully comply’ with public health directions

Dozens of Canadian venues to light up red in support of entertainment workers

Local facilities among dozens across Canada to participate in Light Up Live

Canada West Golf Championships cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

UBC, UBC-O, UFV and UVic athletes will not hit the links this year, Kelowna was set to host

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read