Kabu is the first ride-hailing service to be approved by the Passenger Transportation Board in the Okanagan-Kootenays-Cariboo region. (Facebook)

Ride-hailing coming to Kamloops

Kabu Ride is launching in Kamloops on July 1

-Kamloops This Week

Kamloops’ first ride-hailing service will launch on Canada Day.

In a press release Monday, Kabu Ride Inc. announced the service will begin operating on July 1, with help from local wine tour company Tastefull Excursions.

Kabu plans to operate seven days a week between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., but will extend its hours to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, when demand is expected to be highest.

“Our Canadian company is eager to help local residents, visitors, students, workers and business owners solve their daily transportation challenges,” Kabu president Billy Xiong said in a press release.

The company said it is partnering with TasteFull Excursions to ensure its services meet the unique needs of the community.

“We are familiar with the service gaps for convenient and reliable transportation in Kamloops experienced by residents and visitors alike, and we see Kabu and its team as a big part of the solution,” said Gordon Stamp-Vincent, chief financial officer of TasteFull Excursions.

Locals can download Kabu from the App Store or Google Play to access their choice of transportation: Kabu Pure (basic services), Kabu Premium (premium vehicles) and Kabu Plus (space for five adults).

Both companies said they see ride-hailing as an important part of the provincial effort to restart the economy as people begin to travel about more freely again.

“As B.C.’s economy slowly ramps up again, Kabu wants to be part of the solution by helping full-time and part-time drivers in Kamloops earn a living wage on a flexible schedule where they get to pick their hours,” Xiong said in the release.

Kabu drivers must have a valid Class 1, Class 2 or Class 4 licence. The company is still seeking drivers, who keep 80 per cent of their revenues.

Full-time drivers qualify for subsidized health, dental, disability and illness coverage, along with a free $250,000 life insurance policy.

Kabu is a provincially-licensed ride-hailing provider headquartered in Richmond, B.C. and was founded in 2016 by a couple of post-secondary tech entrepreneurs.

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