Lyft plans to launch in Vancouver in the fall, focus on Lower Mainland area


The ride-hailing company said in a press release it wants to launch throughout the province, especially in areas without easily accessible transportation. But B.C. requires drivers to have Class 4 commercial licences—required for bus, ambulance and taxi drivers, among others—of which there may not be enough to expand beyond the Lower Mainland for now. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Though Lyft is available to 95 per cent of people in the U.S., it’s been slow to roll out its service in Canada; it’s currently active in just nine cities, all in Ontario. That’s much behind its main rival, Uber, which operates in 18 cities across five provinces in Canada. As my colleague Zane reported in January, Uber has been making significant efforts to expand in the country, including seeking to double its Canadian staff in 2019 and lobbying to start delivering alcohol in Quebec. Comparatively, Lyft was hiring significantly fewer positions and holding general discussions with government officials with no specific goal. Ride-hailing firms can start applying to enter the B.C. market on September 3. Specific regulation around fares and the quantity of vehicles allotted to each service are expected to be released by the end of the summer. Uber said it may not be able to expand beyond Metro Vancouver for the same reason as Lyft; the company said it’s preparing to launch this year, as well.