Uride will launch across smaller cities in B.C. by the end of the 2019, their CEO says. (Black Press Media)

New ride-hailing company to launch in Nanaimo

The Thunder Bay-based company is currently looking for drivers

A new ride-hailing company is coming to B.C. communities left behind by the bigger players – but not Metro Vancouver.

Uride founder and CEO Cody Ruberto said the company has submitted an application to operate in all parts of the province, but will be focusing on smaller communities for now.

The Thunder Bay-based company is currently looking for drivers in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Kelowna and Prince George.

“We’re keeping an eye on Metro Vancouver but we’re currently running ads in those cities,” Cody Ruberto said.

Ruberto said he got the idea when he saw people in his hometown of Thunder Bay get left behind by ride-hailing.

“I would see people stranded with no rides, sometimes in -30 C weather,” he told Black Press Media by phone Thursday.

“I really wanted to solve this problem for Thunder Bay.”

READ MORE: B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Uride proved successful in Thunder Bay and Ruberto said soon other smaller communities were reaching out. Currently, the company operates throughout Ontario and in Winnipeg. It’s also looking to start operating in Saskatchewan.

Ruberto said the company’s aim is to curb impaired driving, especially in smaller cities where public transit isn’t always sufficient and taxis remain expensive.

He said teamwork is the key to making ride-hailing work in the small communities that giants like Uber and Lyft have passed by.

“Our drivers actually know each other and they all talk,” Ruberto said.

“We warn them in advance whenever there’s a big night coming up.”

Although Uber and Lyft have expressed disappointment with B.C.’s Class 4 licensing requirement for ride-hailing, Ruberto said he’s not worried.

“We trust whatever the government has set,” he said.

“Just from speaking to our driver recruitment team, it hasn’t been that much of an issue”

Ruberto said he hopes to have Uride up and running in B.C. before the end of the year.

READ MORE: New ride-hailing app says it will operate across B.C.

READ MORE: Transportation minister outlines ‘widespread concerns’ about ride-hailing in B.C.

READ MORE: Nine Vancouver-area taxi companies ask B.C. Supreme Court to quash ride-hailing rules


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s ‘Living History’ isn’t being forgotten

City announces return of speaker series for one night Nov. 19

Nanaimo service station first in B.C. to be part of Petro-Canada’s ‘electric highway’

EV charge stations started operating last month at service station at Terminal and Princess Royal

Kris Kringle Craft Market making its return to Nanaimo

Self-taught craftspeople join trained artisans at seasonal sale Nov. 21-24 at Beban Park

Idea of free student bus passes will come to Regional District of Nanaimo board table

Tyler Brown, RDN transit committee chairman, hopes to explore fully subsidized bus passes for youths

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Neighbourhood around supportive housing disrespected

Supreme Court’s ruling a mean-spirited example of establishment versus the people, says letter writer

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive launches 37th year collecting presents for kids

Toy drive makes sure children in Nanaimo’s less fortunate families have presents Christmas morning

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase in Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read