The popular rideshare service Uber announced Thursday morning that it intends to launch its app in Halifax before the end of 2020.
“We’ve long heard about the excitement for Uber in Halifax. We look forward to providing Haligonians access to the same safe, affordable ride options and flexible earning opportunities that we do in over 10,000 cities across Canada and the globe,” said Matthew Price, general manager of Uber Canada in an emailed statement.
Before the app is available, the company needs to find drivers, something they are in the process of doing.
Uber says interested drivers should bring a completed Driver’s Medical Examination to an Access Nova Scotia office to complete their class 4 licence process.
Last month, Nova Scotia announced they are introducing a "modernized" Class 4 licence that "no longer requires taxi or potential ride hail drivers to retake the road and knowledge tests,” and will save them the $68 testing fee.
The province says that will reduce the costs and administrative burdens for taxi and ride-sharing services.
"Making it easier to do business is an important step toward providing Nova Scotians with more transportation options," said Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "The changes should help open the sector to healthy competition, reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and ensure our roads continue to be safe by keeping the medical requirement, which strikes a balance between business growth passenger safety. This is especially important in our rapidly growing metro areas and in underserviced areas across rural Nova Scotia."
That announcement from the province came just days after Halifax Regional Council gave "transportation networking companies" the green light to operate with conditions.
Companies will have to pay an annual fee ranging between $2,000 for up to 10 vehicles operating and $25,000 for 100 or more cars.
Drivers have to have a minimum of three years' experience and pass a criminal and child abuse registry check.
Uber also outlined some of their COVID-19 precautions, including a ‘Go Online Checklist’ where drivers and riders will confirm they’ve taken certain steps to stop the spread of COVID-19, including following Uber’s ‘No Mask. No Ride.’ policy.
Uber has not given an exact date stating when their service will launch in Halifax.