Find out who the biggest players are, meet the new guys on the scene and learn what Canada’s rideshare companies are all about!
Get to Know the Rideshare Companies
Technology has revolutionized the traditional meaning of rideshare. Before global giants like Uber, people posted on forums looking to carpool with someone to work or hitch a ride across long distances and split the gas.
The global rideshare giant Uber has turned that concept into an app that provides individuals with their own car a part-time or full-time living.
More and more competitors have now entered the market fighting for space in Canada’s largest cities. Let’s meet them and see what they are all about!
Uber is the largest rideshare company in Canada and operates in markets all over the world. They revolutionised the industry, prompting regulators to play catch up with the new technology and business model.
Like Lyft, it’s takes 25% commission from drivers fares and its surge pricing enables drivers to rake in big money when demand skyrockets. They were the first into the market and continue to be the busiest and most prominent rideshare company. They are now operating in many markets in Ontario as well as Alberta and Quebec.
Uber is the only rideshare company that allows drivers to deliver food with its app UberEATS. Some drivers opt to only deliver food while others do so in addition to ferrying passengers around town.
Lyft is the major competitor to Uber in the US and launched in Toronto in fall 2017, marking its first international market. Lyft originally became recongizable by their iconic pink mustaches on the cars but now have coloured beacons to identify their drivers.
Lyft’s rates and commissions are completely on par with Uber and also have dynamic pricing called PrimeTime which is similar to Uber’s Surge pricing. They have announced they are breaking into the Ottawa market in 2018 and already filed the regulatory paperwork with the City. Drivers in the US have reported that their driver support team is easier to deal compared to Uber support.
TappCar is the only rideshare company competing with Uber in Alberta, operating exclusively in Edmonton & Alberta. They managed to beat out Uber for the exclusive opportunity to do pickups at the Edmonton International Airport.
They are unique from other rideshare companies in that phone support is readily available and rides can be scheduled in advance. They also do not promote surge pricing and let customers pay in cash.
InstaRyde launched in Toronto originally in 2015 but switched markets to Austin, Texas when new rideshare regulations were introduced. After a brief stint in Austin, the Canadian company shuffled its operations again and returned to Toronto in the fall of 2017. You may have even seen the founders on Dragons Den in 2016.
The company boasts the lowest commissions for drivers, only taking $0.99 per ride. The rates are on par with the industry in Toronto and they are offering a number of driver incentives like starting bonuses, gas cards and (new) $0.40 per km paid to drivers for the distance traveled to pick up the passenger, which is the only company to do so in Toronto.
Facedrive launched in Toronto in the fall of 2017. They became the first Uber competitor in Toronto once the city licensed the rideshare business in 2016.
Facedrive sets itself apart as the only rideshare app that lets the rider choose from an electric, hybrid or gas powered vehicle. When they take a ride with a Facedrive Driver, the company estimates the carbon emissions from the trip and donates a portion to plant trees in partnership with Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation.
They are also the only company to offer drivers shares in the company after a certain period of driving. The rates of pay for drivers is on par with its competitors but they only takes 10%-15% of the fare compared to Uber and Lyft who take 25% on average. They plan on launching in Stockholm and Montreal in 2018.
RideCo currently only operates in the Kitchener-Waterloo region of Ontario, though they have been part of some pilot projects with Milton GO Transit and shared van service in Liberty Village, Toronto.
RideCo currently only offer shared rides for customers, so drivers would pick up people that are in the same general area heading in roughly the same direction. This is similar to Uber’s service known as UberPOOL and Lyft’s Line, though not yet available in Toronto.
RideCo is currently only available on the Android platform though drivers can obtain a device with the company through a couple different arrangements. Aside from the shared-ride service, they are different than Uber by offering drivers a per kilometre fee for long pickups and a per minute rate to go online to wait for trips in certain areas.
Taxify announced its launch into Toronto for the fall of 2017 but only received its PTC license in January 2018. As of February 2018 they are not yet operating but are advertising consistently online. They are currently active in various international markets including Australia, Mexico and countries throughout Africa, Eastern Europe & The Middle East.
Taxify stands out as the only rideshare company to launch in Toronto that will accept cash payments from customers. They also set themselves apart by registering entire fleets of vehicles to operate with them. This could offer an opportunity to drive for people without a car to drive for a rideshare company for the first time, as well as business owners of vehicle fleets to cash in. Taxify says the driver commission will be between 10-20%, giving them an edge on Uber & Lyft.