WINNIPEG -- Uber has announced that the city has given the rideshare company its licence and it says a launch in Winnipeg is expected within weeks.

In an email to CTV News, a spokesperson for Uber said tens of thousands of Winnipeggers have already signed up to ride and now the company is looking for qualified drivers.

To entice potential drivers, Uber has said it is offering a one-time offer of $500 to the first 100 drivers who complete 20 trips after the company launches in Winnipeg.

Michael van Hemmen, who is the head of Western Canada with Uber, says the organization has had to make changes because of COVID-19.

"We've rebuilt the app based around this new COVID reality. So riders and drivers during this time, are required to wear a face covering or a mask. Drivers, before they go online, actually have to verify that they don't have symptoms, that they've cleaned the vehicle, and that they haven't been in contact with someone who has COVID and is exhibiting symptoms," said van Hemmen.

He added that drivers also have to take a selfie to confirm that they are wearing a mask before they are allowed to start driving.

He also thinks Uber will be an important part of the economic recovery.

"Ridesharing through Uber is a flexible earning opportunity that allows drivers to easily make money," said van Hemmen. "For riders, for people who don't have personal automobiles, who want to have a trip in which they are just with a driver, they are not with a lot of other people, ridesharing provides an alternative option for them to get around the city safely, affordably and reliably."

The city confirmed in an email to CTV News, that the licence was issued last week and that Uber is allowed to start operating "effective immediately."

Winnipeg currently has TappCar, ReRyde, MY CAB app, and Hire PTP which operate as ridesharing companies.

CTV News has reached out to Unicity Taxi and Duffy's Taxi for comment.