Kater Technologies Inc. to soft-launch service end of March 2019. (ridekater/Instagram)

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

A B.C. company says it has managed to get around ridesharing laws and will be launching its service by the end of March.

Kater Technology, based in Surrey, announced its soft-launch Thursday with a website asking for potential passengers in Vancouver to sign up.

READ MORE: B.C. ride hailing battle carries on into 2019

READ MORE: B.C. adds hundreds of taxis, delays ride hailing

In the coming weeks, select interested riders will be asked to download the company’s app to try it out, according to its website. Roughly 30 to 40 cars in its 140-car fleet will be hitting the streets around March 30.

How did Kater skirt the current laws that prohibit ridesharing in B.C.? It got permits through the Vancouver Taxi Association. The company originally operated as a service that connected customers to personal drivers for their own vehicles.

Although people will use the app to hail a ride, they’ll be charged the same base and travel rates as all other taxi services in the city. Drivers will only be allowed to pick up in Vancouver.

The company’s plan has been met with criticism, specifically from members of Ridesharing Now for BC, which is sponsored by ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber, who have been calling on the province to finalize its legislation.

“Kater is simply another form of taxi and does not address the need for transportation options across B.C. – not just where they make deals with local taxi associations,” the organization said.

Ian Black, president of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, said in a statement on social media that consumers are no further ahead with the service.

The NDP government passed legislation in November to allow ride-hailing services as soon as next fall, with restrictions on their numbers and requirements for private vehicle drivers to obtain a class four driver’s licence, pass a criminal record check, and have vehicles inspected.

– With files from Tom Fletcher


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Highway 97 has reopened after single-vehicle incident

UPDATE (1:47 p.m.): The highway has reopened. CLEAR - #BCHwy97 at #BegbieSummit… Continue reading

McAbee Fossil Beds site ready to reopen to the public

Site was taken over by the Province and closed to the public in July 2012

Open houses will give residents chance to voice views on new Eco-Depot

TNRD will be answering questions, soliciting feedback about Ashcroft/Cache Creek Eco-Depot

BC Hydro scam targeting local businesses

Scammer claims to be on his way to businesses to cut the power unless payment is made

Ashcroft Village Council highlights

Dog park discussion, grant approval, Canada Day celebrations and more

VIDEO: First Nations, developer call for return and protection of sacred B.C. burial site

Dozens of First Nations leaders gather on grassy plateau to call on action by provincial government

Teen stabbed after end-of-night limo dispute in downtown Vancouver

A young man, 19, is in serious condition following a dispute between two groups

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

B.C. Interior First Nation family ‘heartbroken’ over loss of young mom

RCMP have released no new information since the June 8, 2019 homicide

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

No business case for Trans Mountain expansion, says former environment minister

Cabinet is expected to announce its decision on the expansion of the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline by Tuesday

LETTER: British Columbia’s forest industry crisis being made worse

Andrew Wilkinson warns of regulatory overload by John Horgan’s NDP

Convicted B.C. child abductor Randall Hopley back in custody 6 months after release

Correctional Services Canada could not provide further details due to privacy concerns

Bears have killed 17 people in B.C. since 1986

Number of bear complaints and bears killed rose sharply during same period

Most Read