Ride-sharing is finally making its debut in Kelowna this summer.
Victoria-based Lucky To Go is kicking off the service as the first company to hit the city’s streets on July 1. The company’s CEO Mandeep Rana said the company is seeing a lot of interest from Kelowna residents, especially from potential drivers.
“People, I think, are just waiting for ride-share to really come to cities like Victoria and Kelowna, and even Kamloops,” he said.
“I think it’s just the right time. I mean, had there been no COVID-19 situation, we would’ve launched even sooner. But the timing couldn’t be better.”
Rana said a few things set Lucky To Go apart from other companies like Uber and Lyft, including charging the least amount of commission compared to other companies and giving an individual the ability to be a ride-share driver and deliver food, if they choose to. He said this provides a driver multiple sources of income without having to work for multiple companies.
He added local taxi companies interested in being part of the Lucky To Go fleet can join as a company. Rana added that future plans for the company include expanding the service to Lake Country, Vernon, and Penticton.
In preparation for the launch, Rana is travelling to Kelowna to host a driver orientation at the Ramada on Saturday, June 20 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Another company, Kabu Ride, will be launching its services in Kelowna this summer as well. The company’s communications director Martin van den Hemel said they wanted to launch on Canada Day as well, but ultimately decided they wanted to launch in Kamloops first then Kelowna.
For now, the goal is to launch Kabu Ride on August 1 but van den Hemel said that’s tentative and could change.
“In the COVID world, the reality we live in now, everything is tentative… the goal is to launch on August 1 in Kelowna and the Okanagan region but right now, anything is possible and that launch could still be delayed,” he said.
Besides COVID-19 concerns, van den Hemel added they wanted to see how Kamloops residents respond to the service before offering it in Kelowna.
“We wanted to see how we do in Kamloops first and what we can learn from that experience, then connect with civic officials, the chamber (of commerce), and local residents to make sure that we create a tailor-made solution for Kamloops, then do the same for Kelowna.”
“Anecdotally, we’ve heard people say ‘I hate our taxi network, I hate our transportation in Kamloops.’ So we hear there’s a lot of demand anecdotally, but how that actually translates when we launch is a different story,” he said.
For more information on Kabu Ride’s services and to apply to be a driver, visit the website.
Lucky To Go is launching in Victoria, Kelowna and Kamloops on July 1. For more information on Lucky To Go’s services as well as to enroll as a driver, visit the website.
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