Vancouver, despite all the amazing accolades the city keeps reminding itself of, still lacks Uber, and it doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon. The BC government isn’t making any decisions it appears, until around the upcoming spring election.
Local startup Ripe Rides, which launched last year with 20 luxury sedans geared towards business customers, recently applied for 150 taxi licenses in Vancouver, to offer Uber-like service. But the startup will be following BC laws on rates, driver requirements and insurance.
The Ripe Rides iOS app allows users to hail a car, track it in real-time, view who their driver is, get estimated rates, pay for the trip or even split costs with a friend.
Nitesh Mistry, director of business operations at Ripe Rides, told Metro News “It was always in our growth plan and our strategy to expand to service more of the GVRD and more of the public.”
A new iOS app called Ripe Tx will offer 120 taxis, in what would be a similar experience to Uber, but playing by the rules, with Mistry adding “We are more than happy to play by the rules that have been set forth.”
Susie Heath, spokesperson for Uber Canada, responded to Metro News to note they do not consider companies like Ripe Rides as its competition. She did want to emphasize, “The provincial government should take action in the upcoming legislative session to expand the number of options available.”
Ripe Rides says they expect a response from their taxi application in a few months. Until then, Vancouver remains a major city in Canada without Uber, with Minister Peter Fassbender only saying last year he was seeking a “made-in-BC” solution for ridesharing regulations.