Competition is already heating up as another ridesharing program in Peterborough launched Thursday.
Locally developed Y Drive Ptbo began service Thursday, one day ahead of the launch planned by Uride based out of Thunder Bay.
Y Drive managing partner Rob Davidson says their service took a year and a half of developing. The company initially began as a designated driving service and has expanded roles, including food delivery, when the coronavirus pandemic began.
“It’s been a long 18 months of development, testing, working with our insurance company and also with the city,” he said.
“We wanted to create something safe and specifically built for the unique town we live in. We have two post-secondary schools, a strong baby boomer population as well as neighbouring towns that rely on Peterborough’s shopping, entertainment and services, making transportation more difficult than some might think to solve.”
Davidson says the company spent the last two weeks interviewing drivers, preparing vehicles and developing COVID-19 sanitation protocols.
“These large out-of-town rideshare companies typically go into a city, never having met the drivers, seen their cars or provided any sort of training,” said Erica Young, Y Drive’s hiring and training leader.
“We want to ensure the service we present to our home town is the safest, most reliable and ultimately most enjoyable experience. Every driver has been interviewed in person, has provided a driver’s abstract, criminal background check, vehicle safety and is routinely spot checked for cleanliness and safety.”
She says her company is avoiding “pay-rate gimmicks” or temporary or “misleading discounts” that try to gain market share.
“If you discount rides, you hurt your drivers’ ability to earn an income and if you overpay drivers you hurt your clients’ pricing — it’s a slippery slope,” she said. “We want to put a reliable product out there for our community that is fair for both the drivers and the passengers. Our hope is that doing this day in and day out will earn us both our clients’ and drivers’ loyalty.”
The company’s app can be found on its website or on any app store.