According to some old adage(I’ve no idea which one or where from), stupid men do not learn from their mistakes. Smart men do learn from their mistakes. And Wise Men learn from others mistakes.
Even as a business, we never take pleasure in the travails of a competitor. But I saw the above article today and couldn’t help but feel there is a powerful lesson in there for Rideshare and for all of us in this market.
Rideshare is not the first carpooling web-based service out there. Among the more established competitors we have are Zimride, Avego, Ridejoy, and last but not least, Uber.
Uber is a service very similar to ours, except for the fact that it does not have a set price per mile. Rather, it is more of a marketplace, where passengers bid on drivers services to try to get them to pick them up. The driver looks at the highest and closest bids and has the choice of either accepting it or just going home. And like any marketplace, prices fluctuate.
The rather extreme price fluctuations seen over the holidays, where prices as much as tripled, illustrates the emphasis that potential customers of services like ours place on reliability. Too much price volatility can turn customers away from our service as they never know how much they will be charged until they go to book the return trip, and by then they have already left their car at home and are dependent on our service to get them back home no matter the price. Customers will only put themselves in this position if they trust our service to deliver quality service at an affordable and predictable price.
Rideshare is committed to a fixed-price model that charges a flat per zone mileage similar to public transportation. This is an integral part of our brand, and a big part of the value proposition we offer to our customers. We are committed to maintaining this pricing model moving forward. We believe our Rideshare commuters are fueled by good and our fixed rate parallels our “fare” share model philosophy.