Non-profit ride-hailing app RideAustin launches

RideAustin app launches in Austin on May 23, 2016.
RideAustin app launches in Austin on May 23, 2016. (Screenshot of App)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It has been two weeks since Uber and Lyft stopped doing business in Austin, but that’s not stopping other businesses from stepping in and filling the void. On Monday, a new community non-profit ridesharing platform called RideAustin was unveiled at the Alamo Drafthouse.

The new ridesharing service, which is funded by donations, was created by two Austin technology companies: Trilogy and Crossover. The developers of RideAustin say ever since the two major Transportation Network Companies left, work on the new app “has proceeded around the clock to develop the app.”

“Replacing Uber and Lyft overnight is hard,” says Joe Liemandt, CEO of Trilogy. “We are not taking this lightly. This community is working hard. The point is to show everybody the broad community support.”

The company says because it is not for profit, the drivers will be paid more and the fares will stay low. “As RideAustin matures, our work for example may include free and reduced priced rides for low income elderly and the disabled,” continued in the RideAustin press release.

RideAustin will also comply with the city’s fingerprint and background checks—which the company will pay for from donations—and they also plan on sharing driver and rider data for research purposed.

If you’re a TNC driver, you can immediately sign up once you download the app and schedule to get fingerprinted. If you’re a rider, the iPhone app is ready for download Monday, May 23. Android users will have to wait until June.

The company expects to give its first rides in June in a limited area downtown and to the airport before expanding the service area.

“I’ve been an active user of Lyft and Uber for a long time,” says founder of Alamo Drafthouse Tim League. “I love ridesharing and have high hopes for RideAustin to fill a significant void in our town, in a way that sustainably cares for our community of drivers.”
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