RideAustin is a non-profit ridesharing alternative set up in the wake of Uber and Lyft leaving town.
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Uber and Lyft have both stopped operating in Austin, Texas, after the City Council ruled that the companies would have to do fingerprint-based background checks on their drivers, clearly mark their cars with the company logo and other restrictions. Now, stepping in to fill the ridesharing void is RideAustin, a non-profit P2P alternative.
RideAustin has been set up by two Austin companies — Trilogy and Crossover — and is funded by donations. Drivers can sign up via the app and the company will pay for the City Council’s required checks out of the donation. Since the business is not for profit, drivers will be able to earn more, even as passengers pay less. As the company expands, there are plans to introduce reduced rates for low income, elderly and disabled passengers, and share driver and rider data with researchers. Plus, riders can choose to donate to local charities by rounding up their fare.
Could other non-profit alternatives be set up in communities affected by large companies?