PEI

Ride-hailing service plans launch in Charlottetown this month

Uride, a ride-hailing company serving smaller communities in Canada, is planning to launch in Charlottetown before the end of the year.

Company started over impaired driving concerns, says founder

URide is currently operating in eight Canadian cities. (Kerry Campbell/CBC)

Uride, a ride-hailing company serving smaller communities in Canada, is planning to launch in Charlottetown before the end of the year.

Company founder Cody Roberto originally launched Uride in Thunder Bay with a mission to prevent impaired driving. 

Roberto said he was concerned about people who had been out drinking waiting for taxis on cold winter nights, with some resorting to driving themselves when perhaps they shouldn't have. He said he was offering free rides to people but realized he couldn't solve the problem on his own.

"We set out on a mission to solve this, originally for one city, and we quickly found out that it was a much bigger problem than we thought. There were smaller communities across Canada, and even other countries, that don't have reliable access to transportation," he said.

"The wait times and pricing for taxis is usually fairly high, and it's just a problem that shouldn't exist."

Cody Roberto says he has about 100 applicants for drivers in Charlottetown. (URide)

Roberto said he has been to Charlottetown to investigate the extent of the problem. He said his service would be less expensive than taxis, but his main focus is how long people have to wait.

"I went to Hunter's and I was talking to the bouncer, and he told me that in the winters people regularly wait an hour to an hour and a half for taxis, sometimes on these cold winter nights," he said.

"It's a problem. That's the reason we exist, to fix that."

Roberto said he already has 100 applications from Islanders wishing to become drivers, and the company is working to get them through the licensing process.

Uride is currently operating in eight cities in Ontario and British Columbia, and also plans to launch in Fredericton this month.

Uride would be the second ride hailing service to operate on P.E.I.

Kari, with service in Charlottetown, Montague and North Rustico, launched in February.

With files from Angela Walker

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