Uber expands deeper into Fraser Valley

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What happened: Uber expands into three more B.C. cities

Why it matters: Ride-hailing giant initially operated in Vancouver when it launched in January

Residents of Abbotsford, Aldergrove and Langley Township have one more transportation option available as of Thursday (June 25).

Uber Canada Inc. says its ride-hailing service is expanding into those three cities at 11 a.m.

When Uber initially launched in B.C. in January it focused on Vancouver, but it has gradually been making its service available farther east in the ensuing months.

Uber and Lyft Canada Inc. were officially licensed to operate in Surrey earlier this month after their respective inter-municipal business licences were given the nod at the conclusion of a legal battle that totalled more than $65,000 for the city.

So far 14 companies have been approved by the province’s Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) to offer ride-hailing services throughout B.C.

Uber and Lyft were among the first to get the greenlight, while few B.C.-based companies have launched services.

Unlike the three new cities where Uber is now operating, the City of Vancouver has mandated additional charges depending on what part of the city people are travelling in.

Vancouver passengers pay an additional $0.30 pick-up and drop-off fees between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for what the city describes as its “metro core” — most of downtown out to Commercial Drive, and north of 16th avenue.

Lyft charges a $2.50 base and a $2.50 service fee as well as additional charges of $0.65 per kilometre and $0.33 per minute. 

Uber’s costs include a $2.50 base fare and a $2 booking fee as well as additional charges of $0.70 per kilometre and $0.33 per minute.

So while Uber’s booking fee is $0.50 less than Lyft’s comparable service fee, the latter charges $0.05 less per kilometre travelled.

—With a file from Graeme Wood