Lyft, the world’s second largest ride-hailing company behind Uber, has announced that it will be applying to operate in Metro Vancouver, one of North America’s largest cities without ride-sharing.
“Lyft’s vision is to offer its proven transportation network throughout B.C., but based on the number of Class 4 commercially licenced drivers required to provide a reliable service, Lyft intends to operate in the Lower Mainland to start,” reads a press release from the company.
If all goes as planned, Vancouver will be Lyft’s tenth Canadian city behind Ajax, Brampton, Hamilton, Mississauga, Newmarket, Oshawa, Ottawa, Richmond Hill, and Toronto.
Lyft has been leading the fight against the provincial government’s decision to require ridesharing drivers to get a commercial Class 4 driver’s licence. Lyft currently does not operate in Alberta because of similar rules requiring commercial licences.
Aaron Zifkin, Lyft’s Managing Director for Canada, spoke to a packed house in Vancouver in May. “The Ministry of Transportation is trying to impose a Class 4 licensing system, which is a commercial grade licensing system, which will not allow for true ride-sharing to actually happen. It is only going to exasperate the lack of supply that you currently experience today with taxis”.
Lyft has appointed Peter Lukomskyj as its general manager in B.C. In the prepared statement today, Lukomskyj thanked the NDP government for allowing ride-hailing in B.C., and the B.C. Greens and Liberals for their work on the file.