Passenger Transportation Board approves first of two dozen applications in B.C. for ride-hailing

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      The provincial regulator has issued its first rulings on applications by 24 ride-hailing companies. 

      One of them, Green Coast Ventures, has been approved to operate in the Lower Mainland and Whistler, as well as on Vancouver Island excluding the Capital Regional District.

      The Passenger Transportation Board's decision enables Green Coast Ventures to obtain proper motor-vehicle insurance and work with local governments to comply with their bylaws.

      The company's trade names are Whistle, WhistleRide, and Whistle Ride Co.

      However, the regulator rejected an application by a second B.C.-based ride-sharing company, Victoria-based LTG Technologies Ltd.

      "Critically, the business plan does not reveal an understanding of the passenger transportation business generally, the Act, the Regulation or the Board's Policies," the board stated in its ruling on LTG's application. "It therefore falls short of demonstrating capability to provide the proposed service."

      The successful applicant, Green Coast Ventures, was incorporated in 2002 as Tofino Bus Services Inc. 

      In September, it changed its name. It's solely owned by founder, president, CEO, and chief financial officer Dylan Green.

      "Whistle is a ride-hailing app focusing on resort towns, where the struggle for transit solutions during peak times is the greatest," the company stated in its application.

      In its first year, it plans to focus on Tofino, Ucluelet, Whistler, Pemberton, and Squamish. It will have 15 vehicles on Vancouver Island and 30 vehicles in the Sea to Sky corridor.

      Eventually, it hopes to expand to Courtenay, the Parksville-Qualicum area, and the Lower Mainland.

      "There is insufficient evidence to support concerns that Green Coast's operations will have a negative impact on public transit ridership in the areas where Green Coast intends to operate," the Transportation Safety Board stated in its ruling.

      The company will have to pay a 30-cent trip fee to the province, which will be used to promote accessible services.

      Minimum rates will be based on taxi flag rates and the company won't be allowed to offer coupons or discounts to passengers.

      The losing applicant, LTG, is based in Victoria and was incorporated in August.

      It aimed to provide service on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan–Kootenay-Boundary-Cariboo region.

      According to its application, it was going to impose a monthly subscription fee on drivers and charge a small commission on deliveries.

      The Passenger Transportation Board, however, expressed concerns that LTG's directors do not have experience operating a transportation company, nor did the company provide evidence of an adequate supply of drivers.

      Moreover, its proposal to raise revenue to expand was "vague and lacking in specific details". And there wasn't sufficient evidence of a satisfactory safety plan, according to the ruling.

      "The striking feature of LTG's business plan is its focus on the technology aspects of the Lucky-to-Go App," the board stated.