The second company to receive approval to provide ride-hailing services on Vancouver Island will soon be the first to start operating in Victoria.

On Wednesday, Lucky To Go became the second company to receive Passenger Transportation Board approval to operate as a ride-hailing service.

According to owner Mandeep Rana, the company plans to start providing the service within the next 14 days once insurance and other logistical requirements are in place.

In addition to the independent driver model followed by companies like Uber and Lyft, Lucky To Go has teamed up with the BC Taxi Association to offer taxi hailing services as well.

Customers who download the app will therefore be able to choose between ordering a ride from an independent driver licensed with the company, and any one of the taxi companies operating in Victoria.

“We have roughly 40 to 45 drivers signed up but we’re also working with the BC Taxi Association because they have endorsed us,” said Rana in a phone interview with Victoria Buzz.

“They believe in our product and they knew that this was something that is inevitable.”

Passengers also have the option of choosing the ‘Nearest Ride’ feature which will send an alert to all drivers in the area irrespective of whether they’re part of a taxi company or independent driver. Whoever accepts this call can then pick up the customer.

According to Rana, the company has designed a competitive fare structure that makes all rides hailed through the Lucky To Go app approximately 25 per cent less expensive than regular taxi service ordered over the phone.

Like Uber and Lyft, payments are made through the app by credit card or Visa/Mastercard debit, and is therefore entirely contactless. Customers can also leave rate their drivers and ride through the app.

Moreover all independent drivers and taxi drivers working through Lucky To Go will be disinfecting their vehicles before and after each ride. All drivers and passengers will also be provided with a non-medical mask to wear for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

People can start downloading the app now, which currently functions as a food and grocery delivery platform.

Once the platform has gone live in Victoria, Rana says the plan is to expand the company into Vancouver and the Okanagan region within next 60 days.

The first ride hailing company to be approved for operation on Vancouver Island was Kabu Ride Inc., a company based in Vancouver.

Kabu received the green light to operate in the CRD and on Vancouver Island on February 7th, 2020 but has not yet begun providing services here.

Original Article

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