Uber plans Metro Vancouver launch

UBER announced on Wednesday its intention to apply to the BC Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) for a transportation network service authorization to operate in Metro Vancouver.

The PTB expects that applications will take approximately six to eight weeks to evaluate. If the PTB approves Uber’s application, operations are expected to begin sometime in late 2019.

“We are very excited for the opportunity to provide ridesharing services in Metro Vancouver,” said Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s Head of Western Canada. “For years, British Columbians have been clear that they want access to the same safe, affordable, reliable service they’ve used all over the world. We’re optimistic that Uber will be here for the busy holiday season.”

Uber’s application is for Region 1, which includes Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Squamish and Lillooet. However, the specific communities where Uber would be available will not be finalized until closer to a launch date, based on the number of qualified driver-partners who sign up to use the app. Uber remains interested in service across BC, but the proposed regulations are not conducive to operations in smaller municipalities.

Earlier this month, Uber encouraged those interested in becoming a driver-partner to start the process to obtain a Class 4 licence with ICBC, and to sign up with Uber at drive.uber.com. Promotions are available for drivers who complete the process and start earning.