B.C. regulator approves three more ride-hailing companies

Victoria-based Lucky To Go has been approved to offer ride-hailing services in B.C. | YouTube screen grab

What happened: Three more companies have been approved to offer ride-hailing services in B.C.

Why it matters: The approvals for additional ride-hailing services come at a time officials are urging people to stay home

While many British Columbians are abiding by calls to stay at home, the provincial regulator in charge of ride-hailing has granted operating licences to three more services aimed at getting people moving.

The Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) gave the nod Wednesday (April 23) to LTG Technologies Ltd., Metro Burnaby Rides Inc. and Hich Ride Sharing Corp.

LTG — or Lucky to Go — has been approved for the Lower Mainland-Whistler operating region, as well as all other regions in the province.

Victoria-based Lucky to Go plans to partner with the B.C. Taxi Association to provide the latter’s member companies with use of its app in return for lease payments.

The company said in its application it expects a fleet size of 100-150 taxi vehicles, as well as 80 independent drivers, to be available within the Lower Mainland.

Metro Burnaby Rides (MetroRides) and Hich Ride Sharing will be permitted to operate only within the Lower Mainland.

MetroRides said in its application that it plans to operate on a non-profit basis, charging drivers fees to cover the cost of providing technology services, credit processing and management services.

The company said those fees will vary based on the cost of providing those services.

Hich’s app is based on a platform used to provide ride-hailing services in the U.K., Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.

The app is also capable of providing food delivery services, courier services, online shopping and digital banking.

Hich’s drivers will be required to pay a $75 monthly fee to access customers through the app.

The three companies are the ninth, tenth and 11th operators, respectively, to be granted approvals to offer ride-hailing services in B.C.

They follow Green Coast Ventures Inc., a Tofino-based company operating under the name Whistle; American giants Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft Inc. (Nasdaq:LYFT); Richmond’s Kabu-Ride Inc.; Garrindar Singh Parhar (operating as Apt Rides); Sechelt-based Coastal Rides; MDD Transport Network Inc.; and Safe Ride Sharing Ltd.

In its Wednesday decisions, the PTB also declined the applications of 1st Choice Cabs Ltd. as well as Ride Sharing Travellers Company (Rezagholi Vahidi).

The PTB has received 35 ride-hailing applications to date, issuing decisions on 28 of them since September.