Vancouver is once again without ride-sharing services. Although the latest departure is actually a taxi cab industry-funded company.
According to a new report from Global News, Vancouver’s only ride-sharing company, Kater, has pulled its cars off the roads as it awaits its ridesharing licence application to be approved by the province.
“In light of the impending legalization of ride-hailing services here in B.C. … Kater has made the decision to focus on our ride-hailing model immediately,” the company said in a statement.
“Kater has stopped operating its current hybrid fleet of cars and has started the process of switching to our full-scale ride-hailing operations, launching in the very near future.”
The company did not give any further details on what this process entailed, nor did it provide a specific date for the launch.
“It was an attempt by the Vancouver Taxi Association to make sure ride-hailing didn’t succeed in this province and this city particularly, and it fell flat,” said BC Liberal MLA Jas Johal, who sits on the province’s committee for ridesharing. “The public didn’t buy it at the end of the day.”
“It was cynical public policy encouraged by the NDP, and the fact that yesterday’s letter came out yesterday and said ‘we’re not moving forward,’ well it tells you the public didn’t buy it either, and thank god for that,” added Johal.
“In September, the company applied to the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) to operate province-wide, with plans to set up in Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and the Okanagan followed by other communities in 2020,” reads the report.
“Stay tuned Vancouver,” concludes the company. “Ride-hail here we come. See you all in a few weeks’ time.”
The announcement comes as U.S.-based ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft are seeking operating licences from the Passenger Transportation Board.