GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new rideshare app has launched in Grand Rapids providing riders with an alternative to Uber.
SteadyFare, based in Grand Rapids, is hailed on its website as a “better way to ride.”
“SteadyFare is just a different approach to a new service which is a rideshare company,” said James Matthews, the founder of SteadyFare.
SteadyFare launched just a few weeks ago in Grand Rapids and already has thousands of riders signed up and added more than 500 last week alone.
“We were really surprised. You know, you never really know what to expect with these types of things, but it really seems to be very well accepted,” Matthews said. “We’re all probably pretty familiar with the big guy.”
The “big guy” meaning Uber. If riders are familiar with Uber, then they are familiar with the company’s surge pricing. Surge pricing is when Uber has more riders than drivers so they surge the price of the ride to give more drivers incentive to get on the road. It’s the practice that led to some sticker shock on New Year’s Eve and riders took to social media to post their outrage over bills, one which was nearly $500.
“For SteadyFare we decided to do away with what’s called surge pricing,” said Matthews. “Consumers want to have one flat rate, one steady rate. So they know that if they have 20 bucks to get home, they’re going to get home and not have to worry for an $80, $90 dollar surge.”
SteadyFare works just like Uber. Drivers set their pickup and drop off locations and a driver shows up to take them where they want to go.
There are a few differences between SteadyFare and Uber besides no surge pricing with SteadyFare. On SteadyFare’s app riders can tip drivers and schedule a pickup time.
Matthews says he is also working on developing “comfort” settings so a man or woman rider or driver that would feel more comfortable riding with a member of the same gender could set that as a preference.
Matthews said while they are focused on metro Grand Rapids they are not opposed to drivers signing up along the lakeshore.
One driver of SteadyFare says he signed up right away to add to the Uber rides he already was giving.
“It’s starting to pick up. I think it will take a little time, like any new business, to get off the ground but seem to be getting more and more each day.”