KABU-Ride launches in Abbotsford, Mission, Maple Ridge, Langley, Chilliwack and Kamloops on July 1. (Facebook)

Abbotsford to launch its first ride-hailing service on July 1

KABU-Ride expands its services east of Greater Vancouver

Ride-hailing is coming to Abbotsford for the first time on Canada Day.

In February, KABU-Ride became the first company to be granted a licence by the Passenger Transportation Board to provide ride-hailing services in all five regions across B.C.

The service, headquartered in Richmond, will launch in Abbotsford on July 1 at 11 a.m., as well as in Mission, Langley, Maple Ridge, Chilliwack and Kamloops.

The move puts KABU ahead of other ride-hailing services, such as Lyft and Uber, which aren’t yet operating in communities east of Langley.

RELATED: Ridesharing company with province-wide licensing to start in Metro Vancouver

RELATED: First ride-hailing company approved to operate across all of B.C.

KABU is a subsidiary of Richmond-based ride-hailing service GoKabu, which was operating in the Richmond area without a licence for roughly three years, but temporarily shuttered services while awaiting provincial approval.

The service is currently operational in the Lower Mainland from Richmond to Coquitlam.

Martin Van den Hemel, KABU’s director of communications, said riders in the Fraser Valley will now be able to travel throughout the Lower Mainland.

He said plans were underway to next expand to Victoria and Nanaimo, but those have currently been stalled. The service is expected to launch in Kelowna on Aug. 1.

Users can download KABU from the App Store or Google Play to access basic services, premium vehicles and KABU Plus (space for five adults).

KABU drivers must have a Class 1, 2 or 4 licence. The company says drivers keep 80 per cent of their revenues, and full-time drivers qualify for benefits.

Customers will be able to choose a driver who speaks the language of their choice, provided there are ones available who speak that language.

Van den Hemel said the company has completed more than 1.3 million rides for more than 100,000 customers since 2016.

– with files from Ashley Wadhwani, Black Press Digital Media

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Vikki Hopes | Reporter

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