Two ride-sharing companies could be operating in Kelowna before end of summer | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Two ride-sharing companies could be operating in Kelowna before end of summer

Soon Kelowna residents can order a lift through Lucky To Go and KABU-Ride.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK / Lucky To GO
June 17, 2020 - 2:54 PM

Two different ride hailing services are expected to be operating in the city this summer, with one launching as early as next month.

The companies have now applied for business licensing with the City of Kelowna, according to Greg Wise, the city’s business licensing manager.

“We’ve got two, KABU is one of them and (Lucky To Go) is the second,” Wise says. “(Lucky To Go) has just applied literally today, as a matter of fact. We’ve had discussions with them. KABU we’ve been negotiating with for at least a month or so now, and they’re planning on starting in August, I believe. (Lucky To Go) is hoping to launch in July.”

Wise says the City’s business licensing process takes between one to two weeks and says he believes both will be approved and ready to hit the road.

“From a licensing perspective, it’s certainly realistic,” Wise says. “As far as their ability to launch, I know they’re both actively pursuing getting staff, drivers.”

He says the business licensing will fall under the same category as taxis, limousines and tour operators and each will be allowed up to 20 cars.

KABU-Ride was just approved to operate in Kamloops starting on July 1. According to Martin van den Hemel, communication director with KABU-Ride, the Richmond-based company offers three types of vehicles through their app, starting with basic four-door vehicles under the KABU Pure component. You can also choose to ride with KABU Premium which offers higher-end vehicles like Tesla, Audi, Mercedes and BMWs. There is also an option for those with larger groups or in need of storage space, and they can book an SUV or van through KABU Plus. One other option, KABU Eco, won’t be available until the company has enough electric vehicles in their fleet.

According to Lucky To Go's website, the company was created in Victoria. Users can download the app or book a ride online if they don't have a smart phone.

Both Lucky To Go and KABU-Ride have online job postings for the Kelowna area. Uride also has a job posting for the area although they have not moved forward to the business licensing stage. Wise thinks that these two companies, although having a head start in the city that has never had such services, may soon share the market with competitors.

“There definitely will be competition... I know Uber and Lyft chose not to come to the interior and focus on the Lower Mainland. My understanding is, at this time anyway, they may very well look to expand in the future,” Wise says.

Wise believes the ride-sharing services will be very well received in the city.

“We’ve certainly had some limited challenges here as far as availability of taxis at peak periods so I’m sure the ride-share will be a welcome service.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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