UPDATE: Less than 24 hours after being approved, Uber has starting service as of 8:00am on Friday, January 24th at 8:00am. Set up an Uber account now and save $5 off your first ride.

Vancouverites are used to waiting for a taxi but it appears that our wait for ride hailing is almost over.

The Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) announced today that it has approved ride hailing companies Uber and Lyft to operate in B.C.’s Lower Mainland and Whistler.

“British Columbians have been asking for new ride hailing services since 2012, but the old government failed to get it done. Our government did the hard work and delivered,” Claire Trevena, B.C.’s transportation minister, shared online today.

“Over the last two years, our government has been diligent in developing a framework that puts passenger safety first, and we remained steadfast against pressures to abandon the safety measures we put in place. Road users can now be confident that B.C.’s ride-hailing services will comply with some of the highest safety standards in North America.”

Those eager to start using ride hailing shouldn’t open their apps just yet as there are still administrative approvals including business licences needed by both companies.

“The PTB’s approval is one of the final steps before Uber is able to start providing reliable, safe, affordable rides in Metro Vancouver,” Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s head of Western Canada said in a news release.

“We hope to launch very soon, once we have obtained a business licence from the City of Vancouver and purchased insurance from ICBC.”