While ride-hailing companies have stated they won’t be entering the smaller communities across the province when they start operation later this year, ridesharing is hoping to fill the void.
Pop-a-ride is a ridesharing service that began here in BC and now runs across the Country. CEO Flo Devellennes spoke with Q101 about how he sees the differences between sharing versus hailing come down to two main factors, profit and reason for being on the road.
“Uber and Lyft are on-demand taxi services. You’re not really sharing a ride with them you’re hailing a ride with them,” said Devellennes. “What we offer is the true ridesharing, there is someone already driving from A to B and we help fill seats in their car.”
He also mentioned how people who drive for ride-hailing companies are doing so to make money, while those with ridesharing only have some of their costs repaid.
“From Merritt to Kamloops you’re looking at a ride between $10-$15 to chip into the driver's cost. If you were going to take a taxi or ride-hailing service it would cost anywhere between $50-$150,” said Devellennes. “There is a huge price difference because the intent is completely different. We help the drivers with their costs versus paying someone to drive you on-demand.”
With ride-hailing seemingly shying away from smaller markets, Pop-a-ride is planning to target the area.
“We’re looking at a marketing campaign in the Fall and then targeting the summer of next year. Especially around things like festivals and other things to kind of have a hook,” said Devellennes.
The service really picked up after the greyhound bus service left the province.
Currently, on their service, there are approximately 75 trips every week through the Merritt area heading in all directions.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt