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Meet the drivers: ride-hailing companies recruiting in Metro Vancouver
Major ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are recruiting drivers now that they're just weeks away from getting licenses to operate in British Columbia.
"Lyft drivers come from all walks of life," said Peter Lukomskyj, the company’s general manager for B.C. "We see retirees who might want a few hours to socialize during the day. We see stay-at-home parents who might want to drive after they're dropped off the kids at school ... We see students who might want to have some extra spending money for pizza."
Potential drivers who attended a Lyft information session in Vancouver came from a variety of backgrounds.
"Because I'm using Lyft wherever I travel, like U.S. or Thailand or Japan, I think it’s a really fun experience. I want to be a part of it," said Tony An, a cook who wants to drive part-time for Lyft.
"Since I work from home, I have a lot of downtime and so I just thought that might be good for making a bit of extra money," said Travis McCray who sells Dungeons and Dragons dice and creates websites.
David Hahn wants to drive while his daughters are at dance class.
"Instead of just sitting at the car doing nothing I thought it might be an interesting opportunity to maybe earn some money and make new friends," Hahn said.
While the reasons and backgrounds of the people at the Lyft information session varied, the overwhelming majority had one thing in common: they're men.
"In British Columbia we've generally seen the driving economy be very male-dominated," said Lukomskyj. "It's not something we see across all our markets. When I'm in San Francisco I would say about 40 percent of my rides are women drivers. And I would say what we need to do is showcase the fact that it is that way in other regions, and it’s an earning opportunity for anyone."
Before they can drive for a ride hail company, drivers here need to pass a Class 4 commercial knowledge and road test. "It’s a more difficult test. You need learn about some things that don't apply to rideshare, but it’s part of the Class 4 licence," said Lukomskyj.
While it's a hassle for most drivers, Travis McCray sees an upside.
"I think for one it’s going to cut down initial drivers so that I can make a little more in the beginning," he said. "I'm really just happy that B.C. has finally embraced ridesharing, and if this is the hoop I have to jump through, I'm fine with that."