Prince Edward Island ride-sharing company Kari is bringing GPS to New Brunswick in hopes of an “optimistic” expansion for this summer.
In an interview with PKBNEWS, Len Currie, the co-founder, said they would consider expanding to Saint John, Moncton or Fredericton before looking to other cities in New Brunswick.
Other ride-sharing apps have tried to make their mark in the province in recent years, most shut down by insurance.
“That was really the hurdle that stopped other businesses,” Currie said.
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He said it was something the company worked with in Prince Edward Island when it began operations two years ago, noting that the New Brunswick insurance policy n didn’t exist when it started. The policy allows carpooling, but requires a specific auto insurance policy change that amounts to the provider giving permission to drive people for money.
County of Saint John Gerry Lowe has owned the popular Port City Vets Taxi for over 40 years and said the City of Saint John was willing to welcome the ride-sharing app to the area, saying that with many operations of taxi driving with fewer drivers is something that the public has been pushing for quite some time.
While he hopes the business can move to town, he worries about current insurance requirements.
“The big problem with carpooling is that in the province the insurance doesn’t allow it,” Lowe said.
“You cannot switch from ordinary insurance to commercial insurance. To insure a taxi, and that would be carpooling, if you carpool, carpool, you’re talking about PL (personal liability) and PD (property damage) of almost $6-7000.
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He said obtaining additional personal collision insurance could cost up to $10,000, which could deter some who plan to drive for the company if they come to the province.
Lowe said the current taxi count remains around 100 to 120 taxi registries, about a quarter of what it was in the early 2000s.
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