Uber and Lyft are finally launching in Vancouver
Congratulations, people of Vancouver: You can now officially become Lyft and Uber drivers, if that's something you want to do.
Yes, the ride-hailing revolution is at long last hitting Canada's third-largest city after years of regulatory back-and-forth despite feverish demand from consumers.
The Passenger Transportation Board, an independent licensing tribunal that is "mandated to make decisions on applications relating to passenger directed vehicles" in British Columbia, announced on Thursday that it had at long last completed a review of four ride hailing company applications that had been pending for months.
PTB rejected applications for Kater Technologies to operate in several areas including Lower Mainland and Victoria-area— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) January 23, 2020
Also declined ReRyde Technologies application.
Here is the full release:#bcpoli pic.twitter.com/GD7pKWbOhB
Uber Canada Inc. and Lyft Canada Inc. have officially been approved to operate in Whistler, B.C., and the province's Lower Mainland (which includes the Greater Vancouver Area).
Uber and Lyft can now apply for local business licences and insurance to operate in B.C., and both companies expect the process to be quick.
As in, they plan to be up and running within weeks, if not days.
Uber is telling followers in Vancouver (via email) it will be live in the city in a few days. pic.twitter.com/butizv5dSz— Bruce Claggett (@BruceClaggett) January 23, 2020
"The PTB's approval is one of the final steps before Uber is able to start providing reliable, safe, affordable rides in Metro Vancouver,” said Uber's Michael van Hemmen in a statement today.
"We hope to launch very soon... In the meantime, we encourage all qualified drivers with a Class 4 licence to sign up on the Uber app at drive.uber.com so they can start earning money as soon as operations begin."
Lyft said similarly in a statement that its already working to secure provincial and municipal business licences, and that it "will soon announce our operating area and launch service."
"With today's approval, Uber and Lyft could be on the streets in days or weeks..." Could, being the operative word. I'll believe it when I see it 🚙#lyft #uber #Vancouver https://t.co/KD6L1CM6kE pic.twitter.com/XVICKZV84O— Andrea Magee (@AndreaMagee13) January 23, 2020
Vancouver residents are stoked to be learning that they, too, will finally be able to hail Ubers and Lyfts just like the rest of North America's big city residents.
"BREAKING NEWS: ITS A MIRACLE!!!!! #Uber and #Lyft approved to operate in Metro Vancouver," announced one Twitter user. "#PinchMe #AmiDreaming."
"With Uber and Lyft finally coming to Vancouver, I'm excited to see what the next 'every city in the world has this but it'll take 7 years to get to Vancouver' is," joked another.
"We going to party like it's 2012," wrote another still. "Lyft and Uber approved for Metro Vancouver."
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