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Whistle! ride hailing launches in Whistler

Whistlerites can request rides via app at 11 a.m.
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Whistle founder Dylan Green says his ride-hailing company—the first to be approved in B.C.—is excited for its launch in Whistler on Monday, Feb. 10. Photo by Kyler Vos

WHISTLER'S first brush with ride hailing will officially launch in the resort this morning.

Whistle!—the first ride-hailing company to be approved in B.C.—will start accepting rides in the resort at 11 a.m.

Whistlerites can download the Whistle app at whistle.ca or through the App Store on iPhone or Google Play on Android.

"We're just super excited ... we're going to have our largest response in Whistler," said Whistle founder Dylan Green, adding that the company did a soft launch in Tofino on Feb. 5.

"It was the perfect opportunity to give the app a try in real life, and we're really happy how the app performed and are ready for Whistler."

The company is launching with a stable of 10 drivers, all from Whistler.

"Our goal is to really use locals with their own cars to collect fares for themselves," Green said.

"We really think that is what ride sharing is ... and we think that that's why ride sharing is going to be able to help in Whistler during those peak demand periods."

Whistle fares will be "very similar to a traditional taxi," he added, noting that the intent is not to replace existing taxi companies.

"What's unique about what we're providing is the ease of using your phone to book a ride," Green said.

"The minute a driver accepts it, you're going to know the driver and the car, you'll know exactly how long it's going to take for the car to pick you up, and you can track it in real time on your phone.

"When you get on the ride you'll see the time for your destination, and you'll be able to rate the driver at the end."

Whistlerites will be able to request a ride via the app at 11 a.m.

"We're going to have as many drivers as possible on the first couple of days, but it is still our launch, so thank you everyone for being patient with us," Green said.

"We're having to start running on our first day, because it is going to be so busy in Whistler right now."

There are plans to expand to Squamish and Pemberton in the near future, but all Whistle drivers will be focused in the Whistler area at launch, Green said.

"We've already learned a lot from launching in Tofino, and launching in Whistler is going to be where we learn the most," he said.

"So we're definitely totally open to feedback from all our riders the first week, and our drivers, because that's just going to help us work with our app team to make the app more specific to Whistler and Squamish and Pemberton.

"We really want to make it specific to the regions that we're in."

While both Uber and Lyft are also approved to operate in Whistler, it's unclear when either will launch in the resort.

A spokesperson with Lyft said its timing will depend on the number of drivers it can secure in the community.

"As we enter B.C., we believe the best way to uphold our high standards for both riders and drivers is to begin operating in a select area," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"As we fine tune our operations and bring more drivers into the community, we'll expand our operating area. Over time, we will work to serve the entire region."

Uber did not respond to a request for comment before press time.

Read more here: https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/ride-hailing-is-coming-to-whistler/Content?oid=14805718

Pick up Thursday's Pique for more on ride hailing.