Regulator approves two more B.C. ride-hailing companies

Companies are the 12th and 13th operators to be approved for ride-hailing services in B.C.

Nitesh Mistry, co-founder Vancouver-based Ripe Rides | Photo: Chung Chow

A pair of B.C. ride-hailing companies has gotten the nod from the province’s regulator.

The Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) announced Wednesday (May 13) it’s approved the applications of Ripe Holdings Inc. (Ripe Rides) and Bonny’s Taxi Ltd.

Vancouver-based Ripe Rides had been awarded 20 licences to operate mid-level luxury cars in the City of Vancouver when it made an application for 150 multi-city taxi licences in December 2016.

But as the province’s spring 2017 election approached, all three of the major political parties began promising to introduce ride hailing to the province by year’s end. 

Co-founder Nitesh Mistry told Business in Vancouver in 2018 his company had little choice but to suspend operations and re-evaluate its business model as it prepared to go up against major players in the ride-hailing game.

Ripe Rides has now been approved to operate ride-hailing services throughout all of B.C.

It plans to roll out a fleet of 150 vehicles within the first three months of operations, but it will be focused initially on serving Vancouver’s downtown core, the surrounding region and Whistler.

“Ripe Rides points out that its app analytics and in-app messaging will provide drivers with direction and assist/push them to areas that are underserviced based on trip request activity,” the PTB application stated. 

“The extent to which these technological tools can be realized at scale is dependent on driver adoption.”

Bonny’s Taxi, meanwhile, is best known as a long-time cab service operating in Burnaby.

“Bonny’s states its goal is to be a leading provider of taxi service and TNS [transportation network service] by providing on-demand transportation services to the largest number of potential taxi and TNS users in its licence operating area,” the PTB application stated, using the technical term TNS to refer to ride-hailing services. 

“It will use its existing fleet and app to meet demand, maintain a high level of customer service, provide safe and pleasant transportation, and a high level of driver professionalism and pride in the workplace.”

Ripe Rides and Bonny’s are the 12th and 13th operators 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.; Safe Ride Sharing Ltd.; LTG Technologies Ltd.; Metro Burnaby Rides Inc.; and Hich Ride Sharing Corp.

In its Wednesday decisions the PTB also declined the applications of two other hopeful ride-hailing companies: Dad’s Dial a Driver Services Inc. and VI Ride Hailing.