TOFINO (NEWS 1130) — There’s hope the first ride-hailing service in British Columbia will be operational in time for New Year’s Eve, but only in Tofino.
Dylan Green, the founder of Whistle, says it’s possible the first customer will be picked up by the company before the year is over.
“It would be amazing if we could get something for New Year’s and help out with that crazy pique demand,” he tells NEWS 1130. “We are not going to meet all the demands, but at least we could have a few cars out there, if not more, just to help out on the busiest day of the year.”
But Green says he needs a fleet of drivers which is large enough to accommodate passenger demand.
“Our focus is the town’s we live in that we know best. Tofino and Whistler are these resort communities that are fairly small but have a huge transportation spike when the world comes to visit us on weekends and holidays,” he says. “To meet that demand, you’re asking the general public to jump into your driver pool with their own vehicle.”
Drivers hired by Whistle are required to have a Class 4 driver’s license and their vehicles can’t be older than a decade.
Target launch date for #BC‘s first #ridehailing service is New Year’s Eve, but only in #Tofino. Founder Dylan Green says Whistle! needs fleet big enough to handle passenger demand. The Tofino-based company also has permission to eventually operate in #MetroVancouver. @NEWS1130
— Marcella Bernardo (@Bernardo1130) December 20, 2019
“We really want to, not only be the first licensed company, but we want to be the first ride-hailing ride in B.C.,” Green explains. “We are super excited to get there.”
The Tofino-based Green Coast Ventures has permission to operate in Metro Vancouver.
Green says the initial focus will be on Whistler and other Sea-to-Sky communities including Squamish and Pemberton. They don’t have enough qualified drivers to operate outside of Tofino and Whistler but hope to expand to Metro Vancouver.
The Passenger Transportation Board has yet to approve applications for big-name companies including Uber and Lyft.