Ride-hailing is coming to Chilliwack for the first time on Canada Day.
In February, KABU-Ride became the first company to be granted a licence by the Passenger Transportation Board to provide ride-hailing services in all five regions across B.C.
The service, headquartered in Richmond, will launch in Chilliwack on July 1 at 11 a.m., as well as in Abbotsford, Mission, Langley, Maple Ridge and Kamloops.
The move puts KABU ahead of other ride-hailing services, such as Lyft and Uber, which aren’t yet operating in communities east of Langley.
KABU is a subsidiary of Richmond-based ride-hailing service GoKabu, which was operating in the Richmond area without a licence for roughly three years, but temporarily shuttered services while awaiting provincial approval.
The service is currently operational in the Lower Mainland from Richmond to Coquitlam.
Martin Van den Hemel, KABU’s director of communications, said riders in the Fraser Valley will now be able to travel throughout the Lower Mainland.
He said plans were underway to next expand to Victoria and Nanaimo, but those have currently been stalled. The service is expected to launch in Kelowna on Aug. 1.
Users can download KABU from the App Store or Google Play to access basic services, premium vehicles and KABU Plus (space for five adults).
KABU drivers must have a Class 1, 2 or 4 licence. The company says drivers keep 80 per cent of their revenues, and full-time drivers qualify for benefits.
Customers will be able to choose a driver who speaks the language of their choice, provided there are ones available who speak that language.
Van den Hemel said the company has completed more than 1.3 million rides for more than 100,000 customers since 2016.
– with files from Ashley Wadhwani, Black Press Digital Media