VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — If you’re looking for more transportation options as the province reopens, ride-hailing company Lyft has you covered.
As of Thursday, the ride-hailing giant is expanding its services into more regions including Pitt Meadows, Maple Ridge, Belcarra, Langley, Lions Bay and Bowen Island.
The move comes as the province moves into Phase 3 of the economic restart plan amid COVID-19.
When the service launched locally in 2019, Lyft only covered Vancouver International Airport (YVR) in Richmond, the PNE grounds near Burnaby, and what Lyft calls the “core” of Vancouver. The bounds of the initial Vancouver “core” were as far west as Dunbar Street, as far east as Victoria Drive and as far south as 41st Avenue.
Despite a downturn in business during the pandemic, the company has gradually expanded its area of operation to cover most of Metro Vancouver.
The company has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection guidelines for vehicles but acknowledges there might still be psychological barriers for some passengers.
The other ride-hailing juggernaut, Uber has also been expanding, in tandem with Lyft across Metro Vancouver.
Both business have seen steady expansion in the last few months but their service maps don’t overlap entirely.
While Lyft has now expanded further into the northwest reaches of the Lower Mainland and Bowen Island, Uber hasn’t reached that far.
Conversely, Uber has expanded further southeast into the Fraser Valley with services in Abbotsford and Aldergrove where Lyft is still unavailable.
For those who still want to drive for Lyft or any ride-hailing service in B.C you must possess a Class 4 licence rather than the more ubiquitous Class 5 licence.
This licensing issue is among the chief reasons recruiting drivers has been a challenge in this province since the launch of ride-hailing services.