It may not be Uber, but it’s a start – a new app-based car service is set to launch in Vancouver called Ripe Rides.
To be clear, it’s not a ride-share service. Ripe Rides is a car service that just happens to use much of the same technology as the Uber app does, but is fully licensed and regulated. It’s described as a mid-range option since it’s more expensive than a taxi, but cheaper than a limousine.
“There’s room in the market for customer choice,” CEO and co-founder Otis Perrick told Vancity Buzz, “what we’re offering is that mid-tier product.”
Ripe Rides faced major pushback from the Taxi and Limousine Associations of B.C. as well as the four major taxi companies in Vancouver when they applied for their license two years ago.
“They didn’t think that the rates would be fair, but it was more so along the lines of whether the economic conditions are there for Vancouver,” said Perrick.
Unlike a traditional limousine company, Ripe Rides will charge on a per-kilometre basis. Rates will be $5 per kilometre for the first four kilometres and then $2.60 for every additional kilometre.
The local company will start with a fleet of 20 Cadillac XTS’s and the first four will arrive later this month. Ripe Rides is shooting for a launch date of October 1.