Lyft to launch ride-hailing in Lower Mainland before end of year

B.C. government has set Sept. 3 as date that ride-hailing companies can apply to enter market

A Lyft ride-share car waits at a stoplight in Sacramento, Calif. on July 9, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Rich Pedroncelli)

Ride-hailing company Lyft says it plans to be operating in Vancouver before the end of this year.

The Passenger Transportation Board in B.C. has yet to unveil its final ride-hailing regulations, but a statement from Lyft says the company is confident its operations will begin in the Lower Mainland sometime this fall.

The B.C. Transportation Ministry has set Sept. 3 as the date ride-hailing companies can apply to enter the market, while rules covering fares and the number of vehicles permitted for each ride-booking service are expected by the end of the summer.

Peter Lukomskyj has been named as Lyft’s first general manager in B.C., and says the company hopes to expand throughout the province, especially into areas where additional transportation options are most needed.

But he says, given the number of Class 4 commercially-licensed drivers required to sustain the ride-hailing network, the company’s immediate focus is the Lower Mainland.

Lukomskyj says Lyft remains concerned there may not be enough drivers with commercial licences to allow it to expand beyond the region.

Lyft’s plans for ride-hailing services outside Vancouver are expected to be announced closer to its Lower Mainland launch.

RELATED: B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

“We are still quite concerned about the requirement for drivers to have commercial licences as it will negatively impact driver supply and restrict the regions in which we are able to operate,” Lukomskyj says in an emailed statement.

Class 4 licence holders include taxi, limousine and ambulance drivers. They must be at least 19 years old with a minimum of two years of non-learner experience and fewer than four penalty points over the preceding two years.

Numerous organizations in B.C., including the craft brewers guild, epilepsy society and the province’s gaming and restaurant associations have called for ride-hailing.

Lyft already operates in Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area between Hamilton and Oshawa.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read