Ride-hailing giant Uber says it was surprised by the Passenger Transportation Board’s decision this week to deny its application to operate in Victoria and Kelowna.
Uber, which has been operating in the Lower Mainland and Whistler since January 2020, had been hoping to expand its service area to include all of Vancouver Island and the rest of the province.
“The Passenger Transportation Board’s decision is surprising, disappointing and inconsistent with what we hear from communities like Victoria and Kelowna,” Uber said in a statement to the Times Colonist. “There is meaningful public demand for ridesharing services … and the strong uptake of ridesharing in Metro Vancouver since we launched.”
In its decision, the board, an independent tribunal that considers applications for taxi, bus and limousine licences and what it calls “transportation network services” — also known as ride-hailing — said there was a lack of public need, and Uber’s presence in the market could harm smaller operators and taxis.