Vancouver’s first ride-hailing app suspends operation

Dec 2 2019, 10:22 am

There is still no official word on when ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft will start operating in BC, and now the closest thing residents had to such services has suspended its operations in advance of the arrival of those services.

On March 30 of this year, BC-based Kater launched the beta phase for what it called “Vancouver’s first-ever ride-hailing app.”

Now, the company said it has stopped operating its fleet and “has started the process of switching to our full-scale ride-hailing operations, launching in the very near future.”

Speaking about its decision, Kater told Daily Hive “it’s no secret that ride-hailing is coming to BC; other TNS applicants are advertising throughout the Lower Mainland through various means both online and on billboards and are trying to get ready for launch as well.”

As part of the process, Kater said it “wanted to press the pause button, train new drivers and be in a position to offer the best experience possible to our existing and future riders and drivers.”

By pausing its services now, the company said, “we are ensuring that all our efforts are focused on our technology, our driver onboarding and our operations in order to launch Vancouver’s best version of ride-haling.”

As for when its fleet will be back on the road, Kater said that at the moment, it is preparing to launch its ride-hailing service once licensed by the PTB.

“Following the license approval, Kater’s ride-hail roll-out is expected to follow within seven to 10 days.”

Initially operating in Vancouver Kater said it plans to expand its services to include all of the Lower Mainland, Victoria, and the Okanagan shortly thereafter.

Earlier this fall, both Uber and Lyft confirmed to Daily Hive that they had officially submitted their formal applications to launch rideshare in strategic markets of BC, after the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) began accepting rideshare service applications in September.