FINALLY: Ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber officially approved in British Columbia

Jan 23 2020, 7:19 pm

The provincial Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) announced today it has officially approved applications for ridehailing operators Lyft and Uber in the province.

And it’s an announcement that was welcomed by BC’s Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.

“British Columbians have been asking for new ride hailing services since 2012, but the old government failed to get it done,” she said.“Our government did the hard work and delivered.”

Trevena said that since September of last year, the PTB “has been reviewing applications from 29 ride-hail companies and submissions from stakeholders.”

The province, she said, is committed to working with “both the ride-hail and taxi industries to address outstanding areas in the coming months and futures issues as they arise.”

Trevena said the government will “continue to support a passenger transportation industry that gets people safely where they need to go and ensures sustainable livelihoods for drivers.”

In response to the decision, Lyft General Manager Peter Lukomskyj said his company was “thrilled” with the decision and “excited to bring Lyft’s ridesharing service to the region.”

Back in early December, prior to the first approval Lyft has now unveiled what its pricing structure will look like once its services begin.

Lyft said its base fare will be set at $2.50. The cost-per-kilometre will be 65 cents, and the cost-per-minute will be 33 cents. There will also be a service fee of $2.50. Added up, the total base cost of using a Lyft in Metro Vancouver will be $5.

To put this in perspective, a ride from downtown Vancouver to downtown Richmond — based on Google Maps — including the base fare, cost-per-minute, and cost-per-kilometre will work out to approximately $24.65.

Uber also welcomed the PTB’s decision on Thursday.

“The PTB’s approval is one of the final steps before Uber is able to start providing reliable, safe, affordable rides in Metro Vancouver,” said Uber spokesperson Michael van Hemmen .

“We hope to launch very soon, once we have obtained a business licence from the City of Vancouver and purchased insurance from ICBC.”

Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart said the city is ready for ride-hailing.

“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to make sure that once provincial regulators approved applicants like Lyft and Uber, our staff can turn around business licenses in three days or less,” he said in a statement.

Now that this has finally happened, he said, “all we need is for Lyft and Uber to ask us for a business license and we’ll grant one.”

More to come..

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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