People in Saskatoon have a new option to get themselves and their vehicles home safe after a night out.
The Driverseat smartphone app allows people to book a ride, contact the driver and pay for the ride, similar to the ride-sharing app Uber.
Unlike Uber, two drivers – known as coachmen – are dispatched instead of one. Similar to Operation Red Nose and Saskatchewan-based Zero 8, one person drives the app user and their vehicle home.
The other driver follows and picks up his or her co-worker.
Fees are comparable to taxi fares.
“It’s a great experience for the customer, the coachmen and the general public – keeping our roads safer,” said Driverseat Saskatoon franchise co-owner Spencer Nikkel.
Nikkel approached his former college classmate Steven Schmidt about starting a franchise, after talking for years about going into business together.
The launch is timely, after the Saskatchewan government implemented tougher impaired driving legislation on Jan. 1.
“Saskatchewan has a culture of impaired driving and that’s something that needs to change. People know that,” Schmidt said.
“It’s well documented, so now we can help and effect that change.”
The company employs six drivers in Saskatoon and could hire as many as 20 more, depending on how the app is received.
The Driverseat app is available for iPhone and Android and serves more than 200 communities.