Ride-hailing giant Uber is advising its drivers in Victoria and Kelowna to get ready to roll next week.
The company sent out hundreds of emails Monday to drivers who have expressed interest in driving for Uber.
“Your profile is ready to start earning. All that’s left for you to do is download Uber’s driver’s app,” the messages said.
The email tells drivers they can earn a $1,000 bonus if they take 20 trips within the first two weeks of the launch. It tells them how to set up their payment information, reminds them to have a decal for their front windscreens and says company officials will be in the city June 2 and June 5 to answer questions.
Uber wouldn’t say which day it intends to launch in Victoria, only that it will be next week.
The launch will come about a month after the Passenger Transportation Board approved a licence transfer to permit Uberto operate in the region.
The independent tribunal, which considers applications for taxi, bus, limousine and ride-hailing services, agreed to allow the transfer to Uber of Richmond-based ReRyde Technologies’ operating licence for Victoria and Kelowna.
ReRyde, which was given its licence to operate in the summer of 2020, never ran its service in Victoria. It was given approval to operate in every region of B.C. other than the Lower Mainland and Whistler.
Uber, which has operated on the Lower Mainland and in Whistler since January 2020, has been preparing the ground in Victoria for months. Last fall, the company held seminars to attract potential drivers.
Uber applied for a licence to operate in Victoria in the summer of 2020, but the application was turned down in December 2021 on the grounds that Uber’s presence in the market could harm smaller operators and taxis.