(ridekater/Instagram)

Ride-hailing service Kater seeks southern B.C. licences by the winter

CEO says it hopes operations in the rest of B.C. will be up and running in 2020

Ride-hailing company Kater Technologies says it has officially applied for a licence that would allow it to operate in every region of B.C.

A statement from the company says B.C. is one of the last areas of North America without ride-hailing and the province now has an opportunity to introduce the service in the “right way.”

Kater CEO Scott Larson says the company hopes to launch operations across Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and the Okanagan by this winter, with operations in other B.C. regions rolling out over the next 12 months.

Kater is also proposing a system of pricing that would slide from a minimum of 90 per cent of current taxi rates to a maximum of 200 per cent, a range it says addresses consumer concerns about prices rising when demand is higher.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said last week that eight ride-hailing companies, including Uber, had filed licence applications with the Passenger Transportation Branch of her ministry.

A coalition of nine Vancouver taxi companies has asked the B.C. Supreme Court to quash policies it says were illegally created for ride-hailing, arguing binding guidelines for ride-hailing services should not have been set before individual applications were heard.

Kater’s goal is to serve growing consumer demand while improving “inherent downsides” linked to other ride-hailing providers, Larson says in the statement.

RELATED: New ride-hailing app says it will operate across B.C.

The company says it will include approximately 250 wheelchair accessible vehicles in its network and will also use location-based pricing and driver incentives to encourage Kater drivers not to abandon suburban service during peak hours.

“Assuming that the Passenger Transportation Board approves our pricing model, our drivers are projected to earn at least $25 for every hour that they are active on the Kater platform,” says the statement.

Kater addresses congestion and pollution concerns by pledging that no more than 2,000 of its cars will be on the road at any given time.

Its statement says it also intends to integrate taxis into its operating platform, a move the company says will support the taxi services already in operation.

The coalition of Vancouver taxi companies has said new provincial ride-hailing rules amount to “destructive competition” because they allow so-called transportation network services to offer an unlimited number of vehicles in broader geographic areas compared with cabs.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Revelstoke’s forestry museum launches podcasts and new website

One of their summer students is working remotely

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Aug. 6

Chautauqua, CPR strike and destructive fire

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Most Read