Kabu is the first ride-hailing service to be approved by the Passenger Transportation Board in the Okanagan-Kootenays-Cariboo region. (Facebook)

Ridesharing company with province-wide licensing to start in Metro Vancouver

The company is the first to be approved to operate province-wide

A B.C. ridesharing company was granted its first win last week – the green light to hit roadways province-wide – but now it must overcome another major obstacle before picking up customers: hiring enough qualified drivers.

The Passenger Transportation Board approved KABU Ride Inc.’s application to operate in each region on Feb. 7, giving it a head start in expanding outside of the Lower Mainland over mega-ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft.

KABU is a subsidiary of Richmond-based ride-hailing service GoKabu, which was operating in the Richmond area without a licence for roughly three years, but temporarily shuttered services while awaiting provincial approval.

Martin Van den Hemel, KABU’s director of communications, said the plan is to officially launch in Metro Vancouver over the coming weeks while the company talks with business leaders and civic officials around B.C. to “gauge the level of interest” in ride-hailing.

ALSO READ: 5 things you need to know to start using ridesharing

“KABU hopes to launch in Victoria in the next three months, hopefully sooner,” Van dem Hemel told Black Press Media. “As far as the rest of the province, our launches will be determined by how quickly we can sign up qualified drivers to our platform.”

In its application to the transportation board, KABU said it planned to first begin operations in the Lower Mainland, Victoria and Nanaimo.

Van dem Hemel said the company is confident it will be operating in Kelowna by the summer. The company expects that 40 vehicles will be able to pickup customers in Kelowna and Kamloops by the end of 2020, according to its operating application.

Finding drivers who have at least a Class 4 licence may prove as the most difficult challenge in getting the company’s wheels in motion, Van dem Hemel admitted.

But once up and running, KABU will work differently than other ride-hailing services by allowing a customer to choose the language of their driver.

“So if there’s a customer who doesn’t speak English well, and would like a driver who speaks Spanish, for example, they’ll be able to choose that, provided we’ve got enough Spanish-speaking drivers,” Van dem Hemel said.

The company’s app, which isn’t yet available for download, will first offer services in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ride hailing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vehicle incident causes Hwy 6 closure and power outages in Slocan Valley

A Thursday afternoon incident has closed the main highway in the Slocan Valley

Emergency dental clinic to open in Nelson during COVID-19 shutdowns

Only people with serious pain, infection, or trauma will be admitted

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Outrage over illegal dumping at Nakusp Landfill

Online photo shows garbage bags, cardboard boxes and bottles thrown around landfill container

Don’t avoid doctor’s office if you need help, say Kootenay Boundary physicians

There are alternatives to coming in physically to offices, docs say

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Most Read