A Vancouver-based tech company wants to roll out its ride-hailing service to Kamloops once the provincial government starts accepting applications in September.
Kater Technologies operates a hybrid taxi and ride-hailing service in Metro Vancouver and has plans to launch a traditional ride-hailing option similar to Uber and Lyft in different markets throughout B.C. this fall.
In an email to KTW, Kater’s chief executive officer, Scott Larson, said his company’s arrival in Kamloops will depend on driver and rider supply and demand, but noted Kater intends to be present in the community before the end of the year.
Larson described the Thompson/Okanagan area of the province as a key market.
“Consumers are looking for reliable ways to move from point A to point B and our plan is to take the service that we launched here in Vancouver earlier this spring and roll it out in Kamloops later this year,” Larson said in the email.
Kater currently operates according to regulations that govern the taxi industry and uses an app that is familiar to those who have hired ride-hailing services in other cities.
The company doesn’t yet know how many drivers it will employ in Kamloops when it comes time to apply for a ride-hailing service.
“Exact numbers will depend on the number of licences we are granted by the Passenger Transportation Board,” Larson said.
Larsen said the company is already looking to hire drivers across B.C. and welcomes any applicants in Kamloops.
Kater drivers will be required to obtain a Class 4 licence, attend an in-person training course and submit to criminal record checks.
Regulations on licensing and insurance will go into effect beginning Sept. 16. The Passenger Transportation Board, which will take ride-hailing applications and decide who can operate, is working on policies around boundaries, fleet sizes and rates.
A beta version of the Kater app launched at the end of March.
The app is now widely available and the company has 35 cars that operate using taxi licences that were issued to the Vancouver Taxi Association, picking up passengers in Vancouver and dropping them where requested.
Kater pays the association an undisclosed percentage of its profits — believed to be about per cent — for using the licences.
— with files from the Vancouver Sun