VICTORIA -- Popular ride-sharing company Uber is hoping to expand operations to all of British Columbia, starting with Victoria and Kelowna this year.

Uber has been operating in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for the past six months and announced Wednesday that it had submitted an application to the Passenger Transportation Board to expand to the rest of the province.

Should its application be approved, Uber plans to begin its expansion efforts in Victoria and Kelowna by the end of 2020.

“With the launch of Uber, ideally in time for the holiday season, we look forward to more safe, reliable, and affordable rides for Victoria and Kelowna residents,” said Michael van Hemmen, Uber's head of city operations in Canada, in a release Wednesday.

The company says it is now calling on any interested drivers to apply to Uber now as it prepares to expand across the province later this year.

“Kelowna residents have been eager to get ridesharing services for a long time,” said Mayor of Kelowna Colin Basran in a statement. “Today’s announcement by Uber is a great step forward, and I look forward to the day this service launches in our city.”

According to Uber, the application process is expected take about three months.

“Ridesharing provides another option for people to get around Victoria, and is a great fit for our reputation as a tech city,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.