Starting tomorrow, Coastal Rides is bringing ride-hailing service to the Comox Valley.

It features on-demand service and the ability to book, confirm, and pay for a ride through the Coastal Rides app. 

The app enables customers to request a ride and get connected to local drivers. 

Coastal Rides says to start, there will be two drivers on the road this weekend but as more drivers are added, service availability will expand.

“We strive to provide a safe and affordable transportation option for people in the Comox Valley,” says Coastal Rides founder Ryan Staley. 

“We have been working to make sure we have safety procedures in place to protect riders and drivers from COVID-19, including having barriers between the front and back seats and sanitizing between rides.”

Staley says he has friends on the ground in the Comox Valley who believed bringing the service to the mid-island would be a good idea.

“They said, ‘Hey, let’s bring this to our community, too. This has always been a project for me to get improved transportation services on the Sunshine Coast and had people elsewhere that were interested and they said, ‘Yeah, let’s make it happen there, too.’”

The Coastal Rides App is now available and those who use the service will get a 20 per cent discount on rides as part of the soft launch.

Coastal Rides is also looking for more qualified drivers. Drivers must have a commercial driving license, clean police and driving records, and a vehicle that is no more than 10 years old. 

“We want to connect customers who enjoy the modern conveniences of ride-hailing service with drivers looking to earn extra income on their schedule” Staley said.

“We are currently operating on the Sunshine Coast and are bringing the Comox Valley, Powell River and Prince George online this summer.”

Staley said there are currently more than a half dozen drivers working through the process and getting their documents together, in order to get on board.

“So it’s just a matter of getting all the checks and helping the drivers understand what is involved and make sure they have all the documents they need.”

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

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

For more information, including how to become a driver, visit www.coastalrides.ca