TOFINO (NEWS 1130) — The only ride-hailing company approved to operate in B.C. remains resolved to to bring the service to Tofino and Whistler in January 2020.
Whistle had hoped to be up and running in time for New Year’s Eve but the company’s founder says they couldn’t find and screen enough qualified drivers to meet that deadline.
“There are steps we have to do to get drivers to be part of the team, the main one being a Class 4 licence,” says Dylan Green, who owns Green Coast Ventures, which has launched Whistle. “Those that have approached us that have a Class 4 licence we’re just going through the steps with the criminal record check. We have to make sure their vehicles have passed the B.C. inspection. So it’s just these little things, and over the holidays it was hard.”
The company was approved to operate on Dec. 16 and Green says it’s crucial to have a large enough fleet of drivers before officially launching.
“We know the moment we turn the app on there’s going to be high-demand,” he says.
He says a lack of drivers is not due to lack of interest.
“I think people are realizing how ridesharing can fit into their lives,” he explains, adding locals are excited about the possibility of earning extra cash in communities where a lot of jobs are seasonal.
Green says they have been hosting workshops in the locations they intend to operate so potential drivers get all the information they need about licensing and inspection requirements.
Whistle also plans to bring the service to communities along the Sea to Sky, like Squamish and Pemberton.
The Passenger Transportation Board has yet to approve applications for big-name companies including Uber and Lyft.