Uber launching service in Victoria and Kelowna next week

Click to play video: 'Uber will soon be available to teens in Canada'
Uber will soon be available to teens in Canada
WATCH: Canadian teens will soon be able to hitch a ride with Uber as the ride-hailing app works to expand its market – May 17, 2023

Uber’s long wait to enter Victoria and Kelowna will be over next week.

The exact time and date of the ride-hailing service’s launch has yet to be revealed, but company officials said Monday they told drivers to gear up to pick up passengers in the week ahead.

In a brief notice, they were reminded to set up their payment information and remember their Uber decals, so they could get started.

Uber had been trying to get into Victoria and Kelowna for years, but last year they seemed to gain traction.

Uber submitted a request to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) in late August 2022 to take over the licence of ReRyde, a ride-hailing service that was granted a licence to operate in areas outside of the Lower Mainland in August 2020.

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At the time, company officials said that the expectation was that the service would be up and running by Christmas, offering holiday revelers a safe option to travel.

Click to play video: 'Kelowna’s taxi industry worries about financial impact from Uber’s arrival'
Kelowna’s taxi industry worries about financial impact from Uber’s arrival

Licensing took a lot longer than expected, with significant pushback mounted by rival ride-hailing services and cab companies alike.

Their primary concern, according to the Passenger Transportation Board report, was that Uber would cause negative economic repercussions.

Uber is bound to operate in the main cities in their operational areas, namely Kelowna and Victoria, for the next three years and if it does decide to branch out to neighbouring towns and cities, it will have to provide the board with at least three months’ notice.

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