RydenGo gets ready to take on Lyft and Uber

RydenGo is cooking up a new model for ride hailing. Rather than taking a commission, RydenGo will charge drivers a flat $20 per month subscription fee. The driver keeps the fare they charge and any tips they earn.

The fare is key to RydenGo’s model. When a user requests a ride via app, drivers in the area respond with a rate for the ride that they set themselves rather than having rates set by the company. The user can then choose which ride to accept.

RydenGo also hopes to improve safety in ride hailing by using a four-digit verification code to lessen the chances that a passenger will get into the wrong vehicle. The company conducts the usual background checks on drivers, and they require verification with a RydenGo representative in person or via phone. It also promises to conduct random background checks on drivers “if necessary as determined by its internal security monitoring system,” according to a press release.

It’s free (for now) for drivers to sign up for the beta program that’s already in place in nearly two dozen U.S. cities. Founder Michael Pappas hopes to have the service, which is based in Newport Beach, CA, up and running this fall. Pappas told the LA Times that he comes from a pro-union background and believes that a company can be profitable without exploiting its workers.

There are other facets of ridesharing and car sharing in the works at RydenGo once the basics are in place, like a social function for arranging carpools and a “playground” where you can hire, say, a vintage fire truck for an event. As Pappas said in the press release, “Why can’t changing the world be fun?”