Phone app connects driver and passenger in ride sharing systems. Lucky-to-Go has been approved by the Passenger Transportation Board, who oversee taxi and ride hailing companies, to provide transportation network services to Prince Rupert and Terrace, as well as Kitimat, Smithers and all the way to Prince George. (File photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Phone app connects driver and passenger in ride sharing systems. Lucky-to-Go has been approved by the Passenger Transportation Board, who oversee taxi and ride hailing companies, to provide transportation network services to Prince Rupert and Terrace, as well as Kitimat, Smithers and all the way to Prince George. (File photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Northwest B.C. company denied approval for ride-share licence

Victoria ride-sharing company is approved licence for Northwest B.C. region

Northwest B.C. and regional taxi users will have a new option for paid transportation in the upcoming months with the Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) approving ride-hailing services, which includes Prince Rupert, Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers, all the way to Prince George, with new ride-sharing company Lucky-to-Go (LTG).

The April 22 decision permits Lucky-to-Go a licence to provide transportation network services all across British Columbia. B.C is divided into five taxi zones with the North Coast region in zone five. The 26-page decision gave approval to LTG for operations in all five zones with a fleet of more than 275 vehicles in zones one to four and an undisclosed amount for zone five.

“We’re ecstatic. We are over the moon with the decision,” Mandeep Rana, principal director and co-owner of LTG told Black Press. “It will be a slow move, not as fast as we first thought, due to the current conditions.”

The company, which incorporated in 2019 and will be direct competition to taxi companies, has already hired a general manager in the Victoria-based office. It will continue recruitment efforts through online job posting services, taxi driver recruiting through British Columbia Taxi Association (BCTA) and other companies, while providing driver incentives.

READ MORE: Ridesharing company with province-wide licensing to start in Metro Vancouver

The approval issued by PTB panel member, Catharine Read, explained the Passenger Transportation Act was amended in September 2019 to include transportation network services (TNS), commonly referred to as ride-hailing.

“The Act defines TNS to mean, in part, services respecting the connection of drivers to passengers who hail and pay for the services using an online platform, commonly referred to as an ‘app.’ A transportation network company (‘TNC’) is a company that uses an app to provide TNS,” Read said in her decision.

LTG’s application is one of 30 already made by numerous ride-sharing companies since the inception of the legislative changes. The PTB said on its website that 28 decisions had been made so far. That number includes the five decisions issued on April 22 in which one denied approval for ride-hailing services to Prince Rupert-based company 1st Choice Cabs. 1st Choice Cabs had applied to provide services to Prince Rupert and Terrace.

Skeena Taxi in Prince Rupert, Kalum Cabs in Terrace and the BCTA all submitted written opposition to the 1st Choice application.

“We were planning at least 50 cars in Terrace and Prince Rupert … depending on supply and demand,” Anoop Bhatti, co-owner of 1st Choice Cabs said. “We are locally owned and operated. We understand the clients needs. Terrace and Rupert are our home.”

Cars would have been on the road within 30 days of licensing approval, creating local job openings such as drivers, dispatchers and mechanics, without market saturation of services, according to Bhatti.

Ride-sharing offers huge flexibility for drivers because there are different rules for drivers than in the taxi driver model, which is outdated and needs modernization, Bhatti said. The current denial of approval only creates a huge opportunity to improve and come back with a more refined and stronger approach, he said.

In contrast to the 1st Choice application, Skeena Taxi was silent and made no submissions for the LTG application, with Kalum Cabs opposing it, but BCTA endorsing it.

Rana said LTG has been working closely with BCTA for several months and their partnership endorsement came with a To Go app supplied to BCTA members.

“The need for service has been there for a long time,” Rana said. “How much that actually is, is based on supply and demand. We can’t compare [Terrace/Prince Rupert] to a larger city. Whereever there is the public and taxis, there is the demand.”

Plans to operate in all of B.C. include Terrace and Prince Rupert, however, Rana said, at the date of application the timelines were different than to date. The original application stated services would commence in the region within 90 to 180 days of licensing. Depending on the travel supply, it now may take three to six months to consider due to COVID-19.

“Things are completely different now and we want to perform on an optimum level … we will be in a better place when things settle down,” Rana said. “We’ve been given a licence for the entire B.C., all regions. We are going to cover every area.”

READ MORE: Terrace cab stolen, found destroyed along Hwy 16 riverbank at rest stop near Prince Rupert


K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

ride hailing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rotary Club of Prince Rupert members Kelly Sawchuck and Adrienne Johnston prepare Christmas trees on Dec. 4 in Prince Rupert for the annual sale. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
300 Christmas trees arrive in Prince Rupert

Rotary Club Christmas tree sales are now on, with a high demand for trees during COVID-19

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where one employee is still currently isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was first declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
54 positive COVID-19 cases associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

There’s been a two-person increase in positive cases since Tuesday (Dec. 1)

K-J Millar/The Northern View
8 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the Northern Health Authority

Since Nov. 27, there have been 191 new cases reported in NHA

Five to six years of log accumulation at Diana Lake Provincial Park is currently being cleaned up by a District of Port Edward and Parks BC partnership. (Photo: Supplied by District of Port Edward)
Diana Lake Provincial Park clean up underway

Port Edward District spearheaded the park clean up securing $80,000 in funds from Ridley Terminal

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read