New ride-hailing app arrives in Vancouver

A new ride-hailing app has arrived in Vancouver.

Provincial regulations have largely prevented other ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft from operating in the city, but Kater Technologies Inc. has announced that it has launched a beta phase of its service by developing “a hybrid solution that works within the current regulatory framework.”

“Vancouver is a unique city when it comes to transportation regulations and ride-hailing, and we believe Kater is the solution to many of the mobility dilemmas that have plagued us for too long,” said Scott Larson, the CEO of Kater. “With the tap of a button, you can order a Kater car to pick you up, get an estimated cost and arrival time for your trip, check the driver’s name and licence plate, track your car as it arrives, pay via the app and rate your driver.”

The company has promised to pay its drivers at least $20 per hour. Kater will also provide a car for drivers and cover maintenance costs, insurance, and the necessary permits.

A committee the provincial government set up to consider the issue recently made a number of recommendations for regulations that could open the door for other such apps to enter the Vancouver market.

Uber briefly launched in Vancouver in 2012, but left after a taxi association filed an injunction blocking it from operating in the city.