Hello all, I'm the COO of a new project about to go live in NYC in a few months called RideFHV. NYC is one of the largest taxi market in the world and since the start of big ride-share companies there has been a major shift in the business.
The idea of our company is that it will be completely driver-owned in the sense that the taxi business will operate at a 0% profit margin to its member-drivers (minus operational cost.) We're still in our underground phase only pitching and recruiting to qualified licensed drivers (NYC has a taxi agency that licenses each driver.) We've had major success signing up and onboarding drivers before even launching the service.
Where the company plans on making profit outside of the actual taxi business (which also will be shared with the drivers/community) is in the data. I've been attracted to this community because we also believe in a decentralized future where and when it relates to private for-hire vehcile (FHV) transportation. Why should a big company monopolize on the data and taxi business when it's the drivers who front the cost of actual hardware (cars), licensing and insurance? It's our belief that they only offer the booking software but take anywhere between 30-50% of the fare. No other industry would allow the booking platform to come in at such a high commission rate (think Kayak.com taking that much when booking an airline ticket.)
We've jumped through all the legal regulations to be an actual FHV business in NYC (we have secured the same license to operate as the other big guys) and are fine tuning our software while recruiting drivers. We're small so we can pivot whichever way we deem best for the community without needing to worry about corporate policies. All FHV drivers are independent contractors and can work with whoever they want (exclusively or altogether.) No one company can limit who a driver can drive with at any given moment. Big ride-share actually lobbied to create this environment and we believe it will be the same cause of their inevitable fall.
I want to know if there's any interest from this community of the idea of attacking "big ride-share" and funneling the data they collect from the drivers away from them? Just a thought on the type of data big ride-share collects include logistics/movement of traffic patterns in a city. 3rd party dash cam companies are starting to give out dash cams to commercial FHV drivers only to collect actual driving footage. Can this be used and sold to autonomous car companies? We have a list of potential ideas where this can go but would love to hear from this community.