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Illegal ride-sharing company testing the waters in Vancouver, aiming for March launch despite lack of legislation

Simon Little / CKNW

As the B.C. government continues to review policy around ride-sharing, one company admits it’s testing the waters now — with, or without legislation.

It’s called ReRyde, and the company is already under investigation according to B.C.’s transportation ministry.

Despite that investigation, the company has sent out text messages to registered users saying ReRyde will be fully operational, with a launch date set for March 1.

READ MORE: Both drivers and passengers taking a financial risk if illegal ride-hailing vehicle crashes: lawyer

In an email, the company’s CEO Reban Nouri confirms that over the next two weekends, five ReRide drivers will be offering free rides from downtown Vancouver to a passenger’s desired location

A text message sent to subscribers of the ReRide app.
A text message sent to subscribers of the ReRide app.

He adds that drivers will not be taking money, and the purpose of the free rides is to test the app and build the company brand.

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Nouri also says that any passenger who wants to offer money to drivers will be asked to donate it to charity instead.

Nouri says he’s under the impression the government will announce legislation in the next two weeks.

READ MORE: BC’s Passenger Transportation Branch continues crackdown on illegal ride-hailing companies

Meanwhile, the Passenger Transportation Board says it’s cracking down on drivers with a fine of $1,150 — and that ReRide isn’t the only company on its radar.

On Jan. 18, the board said “We are also aware there are several other companies under the names Longmao, Udi Kuaiche, U Drop, RaccoonGo, GoKabu, Dingdang Carpool, and AO Rideshare that have developed ride-sourcing apps, and have been busy recruiting drivers for hire and connecting passengers with these drivers.”

Global News has reached out to the government for comment.