Langara students split on ride-hailing as part-time employment

Independence and pay are motivating factors to join companies

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By Lina Chung

Some Langara students say they would drive part-time for the incoming ride-hailing companies because they have flexible schedules.

Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft will be operating in B.C. this fall and students are seeing it as a potential job opportunity.

In BC to become a driver for ride-hailing companies, a Class 4 driver’s licence is needed. The vehicle must also be nine years or newer.

Karanpreat Singh, a second-year computer studies diploma student, is applying for his Class 4 driver’s licence shortly, and is hoping to drive in the evenings for Uber in the next year.

“I will do an office job from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then in the evening I will drive Uber for four to five hours,” said Singh. “It’s an independent job. You don’t have to work under some employer.”

He added that you can drive whenever you want.

Student Yao Fu likes the benefits of this independence too.

“The money we get is much more than the [cost of operating a car] … and you just take your time to go to school or go back home, “said Fu. “I think that it’s pretty convenient for them to get extra money.”

Both Singh and Fu know friends who currently drive for Uber or other ride-hailing companies in Canada.

Other Langara students were not keen on the idea of driving part-time for companies like Uber. Dave Scorer said, “I don’t know if Uber pays enough to make it worth it, if you factor in car maintenance and gas.”

The business model is unclear for Alochen Rajaratnam, “Personally I wouldn’t because I don’t understand the concept at this point,” he said.

Right now, there is no shortage of job ads for Uber and Lyft driver job ads in the Lower Mainland.

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