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Northern Ontario rideshare company expands west

Uride has launched in B.C. communities of Kelowna and Kamloops
The rideshare service Uride was launched in 2017 in Thunder Bay.

A Northern Ontario rideshare company has begun its expansion into Western Canada.

Uride, which is headquartered in Thunder Bay, has now launched in the B.C. communities of Kelowna and Kamloops, and plans are in play to establish the service in Victoria, Nanaimo, and Prince George by the fall.

“We're proud to be from Northern Ontario, and the support from the people here is incredible,” said Uride CEO Codey Ruberto in a June 16 news release.

“We originally started Uride with the mission of ending impaired driving in Thunder Bay. We quickly realized smaller communities across Canada don't have access to reliable transportation.

“Our expansion to British Columbia marks an important step on our mission to end impaired driving and to bring ridesharing to smaller communities around the world."

Ruberto came up with the idea for Uride in 2017.

After an evening out, he noticed long lineups of people waiting for taxi cabs and intuited there was an underserviced market for transportation services in Thunder Bay.

Much like similar rideshare services, Uride is accessed through a smartphone app in which people can hail a ride, track its progress, and pay their fare.

Following its initial launch, Uride expanded to Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, and Sault Ste. Marie, and then into southern Ontario and Western Canada.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ruberto introduced Uride Services, which offered delivery of food, medication and other goods for users wary of in-person shopping.

Uride is now operational in 10 communities in Ontario and British Columbia, and the company said it’s eyeing expansion into additional provinces, including New Brunswick.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.