Ride hailing coming to Kamloops, Kelowna this summer - InfoNews

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Ride hailing coming to Kamloops, Kelowna this summer

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June 15, 2020 - 3:23 PM

A ride hailing apps will be available in Kamloops and Kelowna this summer.

On July 1, people in Kamloops will be able to order a lift through KABU Ride, which just received a City business license.

“We haven’t received the application forms yet, but it’s been requested in Kelowna already and I’m going through the motions of doing the same in surrounding jurisdictions… we hope to launch in Kelowna on August the 1st,” Martin van den Hemel with KABU Ride says.

The ride hailing service is offered through an app that you can download on your smartphone, according to a KABU Ride media release. On its website, it states users can choose from up to four types of vehicles, but an option for eco-friendly vehicles won’t be available in Kamloops, at least not yet.

“We have something called KABU Pure which is our entry-level vehicles, Honda Civics and Toyota Corolla, run of the mill vehicles,” van den Hemel says. “We have KABU Premium which is Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Tesla, that kind of thing so a higher-ranked vehicle, and then we have something called KABU Plus, which is larger vehicles like minivans and SUVs… KABU Eco was purely electrical vehicles and we need a critical mass of them. The plan is yes, to have them there, but if we only have one or two then more often than not when a rider requests one of those they’re going to get a ‘no.’”

The KABU Ride website states the company was started in 2016 and has since given 1.3 million rides to 70,000 customers. KABU Ride says it takes the lowest commission rates in the industry and drivers keep 80 per cent of the revenue. Drivers also receive subsidized health, dental, disability and illness coverage as well as a free life insurance policy.

It is partnering with Kamloops company TasteFull Excursions, who will help launch the business. At the start of service, KABU Ride will offer limited hours with extended service during busy periods like Friday and Saturday nights. The company says it plans to offer 24-hour service as soon as possible.

Rod Martin, planning and developing manager with the City of Kamloops, says only KABU Ride has submitted a business license application to the City, although he expects more companies to apply as they receive approval from the Passenger Transportation Board.

Martin says the Richmond-based business would fall under the same licensing as taxi and limo services in town and will pay the same fees, and can start with around 20 vehicles in their fleet.

Although KABU Ride is the only business that has applied for a business license, a similar company have posted job ads for the area. URIDE has an open job postings for the Kamloops area. Neither has made business license applications, Martin said.

Safe Ride, Lucky To Go and Ripe Holdings have all been approved by the Passenger Transportation Board to operate in the area, although Martin says there have been no business licenses applications submitted from those companies either.

— This story was updated at 2:28 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The article previously stated Lyft is actively hiring drivers in Kamloops. A representative from Lyft said the ad was posted online in error.

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