Kelowna, B.C. poised to miss out on another season of Uber

File photo. Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Despite plans to roll out Uber in Kelowna, B.C., and Victoria by as early as last Christmas, the ride-share company has yet to get the green light on a licence transfer.

“We would like to have Uber available in Kelowna and Victoria. However, we are still waiting for a decision from the Passenger Transportation Board, which we hope will be positive,” Keerthana Rang, corporate communications lead for Uber Canada, said.

“We appreciate the continued outpouring of support from potential riders and drivers in the Central Okanagan who are hoping to be able to use Uber where they work and live for transportation and work options.”

Every Wednesday, the Passenger Transportation Board publishes a list of licences it’s approved and Uber has continually been absent from the list.

Story continues below advertisement

The reason why it’s taking so long, however, remains to be seen.

In an earlier statement, the Passenger Transportation Board said when applications are before the board for decision, board staff are unable to provide any further details to the applicant or the public such as timelines for decisions or application status updates.

In late August, Uber submitted a request to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) to take over the licence of ReRyde, a ride-hailer that was granted a licence to operate in areas outside of the Lower Mainland in August 2020.

Click to play video: 'New Uber safety feature'
New Uber safety feature

Two years ago, the PTB gave Uber the green light to operate in the Lower Mainland, but rejected its application for Kelowna and Victoria, saying it wasn’t “convinced there exists a public need for the service applied for.”

Story continues below advertisement

Mayors for both cities endorsed the move when the application announcement was made, collectively citing increased road safety and job opportunities as well as increased benefits to tourism operators.

Click to play video: 'Taxi industry in Kelowna says Uber is inevitable but timing all wrong to let the ridesharing company operate right now.'
Taxi industry in Kelowna says Uber is inevitable but timing all wrong to let the ridesharing company operate right now.

Sponsored content