After Uber and Lyft slashed rates and drivers’ pay, this month drivers launched their own ride-sharing startup: Arcade City.
The startup says so far it has signed up more than 3,000 drivers nationwide, most of them current or former drivers for Uber and Lyft. Arcade City says it has given more than 1,000 rides in more than 100 cities in 27 states, including Louisiana.
“So far we’ve got about 10 drivers in the Baton Rouge area. We’re putting our toes in the water in preparation for a larger push statewide,” said Arcade City founder Christopher David, a former Uber driver.
The startup also has its eyes on New Orleans, in particular, David said. But Arcade City’s business model also allows it to recruit drivers in rural areas without waiting on the balance of supply and demand that takes awhile in big cities.
Arcade City lets riders review driver profiles in advance and choose the driver. Drivers can set their own rates and offer additional services, such as roadside assistance or deliveries.
Roughly half of current drivers charge on a “pay what you think is fair” basis.
“Uber and Lyft treat drivers terribly, like numbers in an algorithm,” David said. “To them drivers are just a temporary nuisance, to be replaced with self-driving cars at the earliest opportunity. They even hide that fact from the drivers. But drivers are beginning to wake up to reality – and actively search for an alternative.”
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