Ride-hailing service Kater experiencing difficulty signing up new drivers ahead of 2019 B.C. launch


Surrey, British Columbia-based ride-sharing company Kater is having a hard time finding drivers before its planned 2019 launch.

Kater said it was operating for three years in Surrey “as an app connecting users with personal drivers for their own vehicles,” but now it wants to bring the service to the rest of the province.

The service, similar to Lyft and Uber, which are both not available in Vancouver, was initially set to launch in the early part of 2019, but now that might be pushed to a much later unannounced date.

Kater has been offering new drivers who sign up a bonus of up to $1,700 CAD. Global News reported that the incentive was because there was a shortage of Class 4 licence holders, which is the licence needed to drive taxis in the province.

Liberal Member of Legislative Parliament Jas Johal said if B.C. requires all drivers to hold a Class 4 licence then it would limit competition for ride-hailing services.

“It is nothing more than putting lipstick on a pig,” he said. “If [the government was] serious about testing ridehailing in this province it should be Uber and Lyft and anyone else who plans to enter the market, not just a company that is being advised by Moe Sihota, the former president of the NDP.”

B.C. transportation minister Claire Trevena announced legislation that would allow companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in the province by sometime at the end of this year. The B.C. NDP government has been criticized for delaying this legislation since it was first announced as part of Premier John Horgan’s 2017 election pledge.

Vancouver is currently one of Canada’s largest cities that doesn’t have any legal ride-sharing options.

Source: Global News