THE made-in-BC technology company, Kater, has announced that it will launch the beta phase for Vancouver’s first-ever ride-hailing app on March 30. The ride-hailing app will allow users to connect with safe, predictable and reliable rides on-demand using their smartphones.
Vancouverites are invited to register today for a chance to be an early-adopter and take part in the beta phase by signing up at Kater.com
. During the beta phase, Kater will start with a small sample of cars and users, increasing both simultaneously over the coming weeks.
Scott Larson, CEO of Kater, says: “We are thrilled to be announcing the beta launch of Kater. Vancouver is a very unique city when it comes to transportation regulations and ride-hailing, and we believe Kater is the solution to many of the mobility dilemmas that have plagued us for too long. With the tap of a button you can order a Kater car to pick you up, get an estimated cost and arrival time for your trip, check the driver’s name and licence plate, track your car as it arrives, pay via the app and rate your driver. We intend to have all of our Kater cars on the road by the middle of spring.”
How to start riding with Kater:
The app will be available to download from March 30 on Apple and Android
Once you have received your invitation to participate, input the unique code into the app, register your payment details and start riding!
Kater will continue to invite more users to join as part of the scaled approach to putting cars on the road
Frequently Asked Questions
(Answers by Larson)
What is Kater?
Kater is a Vancouver tech company that is providing a viable and realistic solution to Vancouver’s long-standing mobility dilemma with British Columbia’s first legally-compliant ride-hailing app.
How does it work?
Kater is a ride-hailing app available both for Apple and Android users. Once you download the app and complete the registration process, you are ready to do more with Kater. With the tap of a button you can order a Kater car to pick you up, get an estimated cost for your trip, check the driver’s name and license plate, track your car as it’s on its way and monitor the arrival time, pay via the app and rate your driver. It is safe, reliable and predictable.
When does it launch?
Kater’s beta testing phase will launch on March 30, 2019.
Where will it work?
During beta testing, Kater will be able to pick up riders throughout the city of Vancouver. At full launch, Kater cars will pick up riders throughout Metro Vancouver. Kater cars will be able to drop off passengers anywhere within British Columbia.
What is beta testing?
Beta testing is part of the approach most tech companies take when launching a new product. It starts out with a small sample of users and scales up over a number of weeks.
I have downloaded the app. Why can’t I order a car?
During beta testing, we will be launching a small amount of cars to the road and scaling up over the course of a few weeks. We will be inviting more riders to join our group of early-adopters as we increase the number of Kater cars on the road. Keep an eye out for your invitation!
How many Kater cars will be on the road?
When we launch fully later this Spring, Kater will have 140 cars on the road. We anticipate that there will be demand for more cars and plan to scale up accordingly!
Can I ride with my service animal?
Yes, service animals are welcome in Kater cars.
Do you have accessible vehicle options?
Kater will be introducing accessible options over the first few months of our operations.
What are your wait times?
With the Kater app, you will be able to see your car’s estimated arrival time and track it live. We are aiming for wait times of less than 8 minutes.
How much does it cost?
Kater’s rates are in accordance with the standard rates set by British Columbia’s Passenger Transportation Board. These are the current laws and regulations for vehicle-for-hire services like Kater. There is no surge pricing at busy periods or on rainy days!
Base fare: $3.25. Cost per minute: $0.56. Cost per Km: $1.88
Who do I contact if I have a problem?
We have a 24/7 Kater Care team that you will be able to contact via phone or text within the app or alternatively live chat on the website.
How do I know I am safe in a Kater car?
Safety is a number one priority for Kater and as such we have installed cameras in all our cars. The Kater app includes a two-way rating system and a direct 24/7 link to our Kater Care Team for all inquiries. Kater vehicles are brand new and maintained by us on a daily basis. Our drivers are professional and service-driven. All drivers have a Class 4 License, required Chauffeur Permits, and are put through a stringent driver training program.
Does Kater have any links to the government or a political party?
Kater is independently-financed and is not linked to any political party.
What is Kater’s link with the Vancouver Taxi Association?
In order to be operational and drive under the current Provincial guidelines, at the moment, Kater – and any other ride-for-hire companies that want to operate here in Vancouver – need a licence. Kater has been given 140 licences by the VTA, however that is where the relationship ends.
Operationally, Kater is completely separate; we own our own brand new fleet of cars, which can only be hailed through the app and we have recruited and trained our own drivers to ensure a high level of service.
Are Kater drivers fairly paid?
Fair payment is something we feel strongly about, and when we developed our product, we wanted to create a solution that is fair for all stakeholders, including drivers. Kater drivers are guaranteed a living wage of $20 an hour and can earn up to $35 an hour. Kater drivers keep all their tips. Kater drivers are also provided with a car and all maintenance costs are covered, as well as insurance, permitting, and the costs of Chauffeur Permits if needed. Kater also offers drivers a $1,000 bonus which can be used towards offsetting the costs associated with obtaining a Class 4 License.