YVR Airport is currently Uber's most popular destination in Metro Vancouver

Feb 14 2020, 11:09 am

Ridehailing in Metro Vancouver is still in its infancy, three weeks after Uber and Lyft launched their services in Metro Vancouver, but we now have a very first look at some of the emerging travel patterns.

Information provided by Uber on Friday indicates Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the most popular destination for its customers. YVR regulates ridehailing operators to use Level 2 of both International Arrivals and Domestic Arrivals as the pick-up area, while the drop-off areas are the same areas used by taxis and other vehicles.

At the moment, the most popular time to request a ride is during the mid-evening period — between 7 pm and 8 pm.

Saturdays are also the most popular day for Uber’s ridehailing services in the region.

When it comes to superlative data, Uber says the longest trip taken so far was over a distance of 179 km and a travel time of 195 minutes. One rider also took 35 trips in a single week.

Uber stated 94% of their drivers have a five-star rating on the app, but was unable to disclose the number of drivers currently on the road or the percentage growth in the number of drivers since launch day on Friday, January 24.

Reports of long wait times and drivers unable to accept a ride, likely from the relatively limited number of drivers due to the Class 4 commercial license requirement (the same license required for taxi drivers), are still common.

Uber’s service area encompasses most of Metro Vancouver, including all of Vancouver, UBC, Burnaby, North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, New Westminster, and Richmond, as well as parts of Delta and Surrey.

Lyft initially launched a service area that only covered central Vancouver, the airport, and PNE, but as of this week, it expanded its service area to include all of Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, and North Surrey.

The eventual introduction of an interim inter-municipal business license for ridehailing could help the companies expand their service areas in the future.