British Columbia has recently given the first ride-hailing app the green light just before the big holiday rush.
According to News 1130, the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) approved an application submitted by Green Coast Ventures to get an operational ride-hailing service into the province. News 1130‘s Lasia Kretzel reported that the application was approved on Twitter, and went on to detail some of the stipulations on the initiative’s first steps.
This does not mean we will have ride-hailing in Metro Vancouver though because, GCV plans to focus on Tofino/Ucluelet and Whistler/Pemberton/Squamish. In its first year, it only plans to have 45 cars and only operate in the above mentioned areas. #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/caSfCif4GW
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) December 16, 2019
While the service won’t be operating in major metro areas, Whistle will begin providing rides in smaller locales such as Tofino/Ucluelet and Whistler/Pemberton/Squamish. Surprisingly, it was not Uber or Lyft that was approved, but a smaller ride-hailing service named Whistle. In terms of provided services, Whistle operates in a similar fashion as the big names but has a focus on resort towns, alleviating some of the pain points in transit during peak times.
While there is no official word on when the service will begin, Green Coast Ventures hopes to get vehicles on the road as soon as possible. During the first year of operation, the plan is to have hit a goal of 15 cars in the Whistler/Pemberton/Squamish area and another 30 cars in Tofino/Ucluelet. The expansion plans hope to cover additional smaller communities in the area such as Courtenay and Parksville/Qualicum.
Currently, the PTB is reviewing the applications of more than 20 services. B.C.’s transportation minister, Claire Trevena, provided a quick statement to News 1130. She said: “We are hoping to hear of more decisions in the very near future, as we want to ensure people across British Columbia are served, including, obviously those in Metro Vancouver and elsewhere.”
Whistle is a newly formed company. While specific details are still pending, it is likely that the app will launch on the Google Play Store and the App Store shortly.