New ridesharing company operating in Kelowna
A Canadian ridesharing company is now operating in Kelowna.
Uride has been in motion since Thursday.
“It’s been super energizing, people are excited, our drivers are excited. This has been needed for a long time here, we’re just excited to come in to try and make a difference,” said Cody Ruberto, Uride’s CEO.
“It’s been great. Our average pick-up time has been less than 10 minutes.”
Uride hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario. Operators say since they began in a smaller market, they are confident their services will match the needs of people in Kelowna.
“This is an alternative for people. They can take Uride and it should be cheaper than taxis, and we are really focused on our pickup times,” said Ruberto.
“We want to be when you click our button, you automatically get paired with a driver and you have someone on the way, We want to ensure wait times are low and you always have a safe ride.”
As for how traditional taxi companies feel about the move, a driver with Kelowna Cabs said it will be interesting to see how the competition unfolds.
“We’re just going to sit back and see how it goes, because there is only a certain population here and only so many people need rides,” said Roy Paulson, a Kelowna Cabs’ driver.
“As far as we are concerned, we have enough taxis with not just Kelowna Cabs but all the cabs as a whole with the taxi business.”
It’s not the first time a ridesharing company has tried to operate in Kelowna, so we asked Uride how it was able to get licensing to operate in the city, since its proved so difficult in the past.
“It was really, really hard for us to get started,” said Ruberto. “The amount of paperwork and going back and forth was insane.”
Uride is adamant its focus is to provide safe transportation for people, with its main intention on preventing impaired driving.