Application for another ride-sharing service in Kamloops rejected

As Kamloops waits for the city's first ride-hailing app to launch, the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) has rejected the application of a potential competitor, the independent licensing tribunal announced today (Feb. 28).

Uride, a ride-sharing company currently operating in Ontario and Manitoba, had their application — which included plans to launch in Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo and Prince George — turned away by the board, citing a failure to understand safety regulations as a big reason.

"The Board determined that Uride’s business plan fails to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the passenger transportation business in British Columbia generally, and of the (Passenger Transportation Act), (Passenger Transportation Regulation) and the requirements under the (National Safety Code), specifically. Instead, its business plan focusses mainly on the company’s profile, marketing strategies and sales," reads the ruling.

However, Uride says there was some confusion over what they needed to provide in their application.

"Basically, there were a lot of documents that weren't originally requested in our initial application which they want now, so we're happy to resubmit that," says CEO and founder Cody Ruberto. 

In order to be approved, the PTB must find that: A) there is a public need for the service the applicant proposes to provide under any special authorization, B) the applicant is a fit and proper person to provide that service and is capable of providing that service, and C) the application, if granted, would promote sound economic conditions in the passenger transportation business in B.C.

While Uride was found to be "a fit and proper person," its application was rejected under section B because it was unable to show it was capable of providing the service, as a result of a business plan that didn't address concerns like pre- and post-trip vehicle inspections and how potential incidents with a client or an accident would be handled.

Ruberto says they have all that information, but it's in the company's procedure manual, not in the business plan.

He isn't sure when they'll be resubmitting their application, noting they want to follow up with the PTB and clarify exactly what they want. 

"We're happy to submit all those documents now and I hope that a turnaround is quick because Kamloops deserves ride sharing and we want to get in there and make a difference," he says. 

The company was also dinged for failing to "demonstrate knowledge of the role of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia in this province."

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