(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

B.C. premier talks forestry, service needs with handful of northern mayors in Prince George

Prince George meeting completes premier’s tour of Kitimat, Terrace, Fort St. James and Quesnel

B.C. Premier calls Quesnel a ‘hub of innovation’ in face of forestry downturn

Premier John Horgan tours Forestry Innovation Centre and meets with mayor, community representatives

Ulkatcho, Lhoosk’uz Dené sign agreements in support of Blackwater Mine project

Agreements commit to share portion of provincial mineral tax revenue collected from planned mine

Burst sprinkler system pipe forces evacuation at Glen Arbor Sunday in Williams Lake

At least three suites were damaged, most tenants can return to the seniors complex Tuesday

LETTER: Quesnel Cattlemen’s Association raise concerns over West Fraser Road detour

The association is “deeply concerned” about the condition of the detour route

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

Protesters block B.C. government building entrance to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

Most Read