A new ride-hailing service is ready to roll in the Comox Valley.

After approval from the Passenger Transportation Board at the end of February, the launch of Coastal Rides was delayed due to COVID-19. 

Now it’s full steam ahead for the company which says it strives “to provide a safe and affordable transportation option for all people in the valley.”

Through the Coastal Rides app, customers can request a ride from drivers in the community.

The company is looking for qualified drivers.

“We just need enough qualified drivers who will offer safe, professional service,” said Coastal Rides founder Ryan Staley. 

They must have a commercial driving license, clean police and driving records, and a vehicle that is no more than 10 years old.

Staley hopes to get the service up and running in stages, depending on how many drivers they can find

“I’m hoping to launch a limited service hopefully this week or next on the Lower Sunshine Coast, and then in Powell River and in the Comox Valley, if we get some drivers on board we should be able to launch mid-July or so.”

Once the service starts in the valley, Staley said steps will be taken to keep both drivers and passengers safe.

This includes barriers between the front and back seats and sanitizing between riders. 

Ride-hailing features on-demand service and the ability to book, confirm and pay for a ride through the app allowing for contactless transactions.

“We originated on the Sunshine Coast and have added the Comox Valley and Prince George after receiving interest from local drivers and coming up with a plan to properly manage drivers in those areas,” Staley said.

Staley said ride-hailing has its benefits for both drivers and customers. 

“For drivers, it’s sort of a flexible work option for them to turn on the app and decide to go to work whenever they want. For customers, it’s being able to see and confirm that there’s a vehicle on its way and when it gets there. Right now is also the ability to have contactless payment, because all the payment goes through the app so there’s no need to exchange cash.”

Coastal Rides is licensed to operate in Area 3 (Vancouver Island outside of the Capital Region) and Area 5 (north, central and other regions).

You can find out more about Coastal Rides, including how to become a driver, and updates about launch timing, by clicking here.