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

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 smaller B.C. cities

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 theres 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.

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

Just Posted

Vernon RCMP volunteers conducting marine vessel pre-checks at Paddlewheel Park in 2020. (City of Vernon)
Vernon volunteers are ‘awe-inspiring’: Mayor

City, mayor celebrate volunteers in National Volunteer Week

Waterfront owners on Kalamalka Lake might want to check their docks, as one was spotted floating around the Oyama end of the lake Thursday, April 22. (Nick Clements photo)
‘Anyone lose a dock?’ in Vernon or Lake Country

Wooden structure spotted at south end of Kalamalka Lake

A screen capture from Chris “Sky” Saccoccia’s Twitch live stream of his rally in Kelowna’s Stuart Park on April 22, 2021. (therealchrisskytv/Twitch.tv)
Anti-mask activist Chris Sky descends on Kelowna, incites violation of COVID-19 health orders

The appearance is part of Chris “Sky” Saccoccia’s ‘Freedom Convoy’ that is currently travelling cross-country

Vernon RCMP are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who allegedly pointed a firearm at two people outside a downtown business Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Contributed)
Man who brandished firearm in downtown Vernon sought by police

Video surveillance image shows man pointing what investigators believe to be a handgun April 10

Kimberley case counts not at the point for 18 years and older community vaccination, says Interior Health. (File photo)
Many factors considered for smaller community-wide vaccination: Interior Health

East Kootenay resort town’s COVID-19 situation not at the point of community-wide vaccination, say officials

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

BC Wildfire Service
Small wildfire ignites in the Shuswap

The blaze is about 10 km east of the Squilax Bridge

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
EDITORIAL: High marks for Canada’s democratic process

Accusations of widespread corruption do not hold up

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will issue an apology for Canada’s treatment of Itaian-Canadians during the Second World War. (CPAC)
COLUMN: Apologizing for an uncomfortable wartime decision

Canada’s government will apologize for its treatment of Italian-Canadians during the Second World War

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RauDZ pop-up patio located on Pandosy Street in front of The Okanagan Table. (Contributed: Audrey Surrao)
Kelowna restaurant gets creative to adjust to new health orders

The owners of RauDZ Regional Table open ‘pop-up patio’ to adjust to health order banning indoor dining

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Most Read