Uber and Lyft have risen to prominence as the go-to apps for users to get a ride somewhere. A group of Tulsa natives is looking to change that.
Blake Litton is a co-owner of the rideshare app TRIDE, originally named as a portmanteau of “Tulsa” and “ride” although the word also means fleet or nimble. TRIDE is locally based in Tulsa and aiming to improve on apps like Uber and Lyft. Litton and fellow co-owner Mack Parks started as Uber drivers, eventually realizing that they weren’t happy with the system and wanting to do something about it.
This is part of why Litton says TRIDE is adding features “that we know passengers and drivers will love” in the new version of the app, currently in beta. These features include saving favorite drivers to use later, sharing current location via SMS and a built-in passenger-driver messaging system.
Litton also notes that current rideshare companies treat drivers “more like an employee versus the independent contractor status they are.” Litton aims to improve on this by offering “more extensive insurance coverage than Uber/Lyft,” and having team leaders acting as a mentor and point of contact for drivers. TRIDE also takes a service fee from fare 8 percent lower than Uber’s (20 percent vs 28 percent).
Litton also takes measures to make sure the experience is as pleasant as possible for passengers as well. He notes that “Uber does not inspect the vehicles passengers ride in [or] do integrity interviews on the drivers,” two measures TRIDE takes before putting a driver on the road.
Perhaps the most important incentive for passengers to use TRIDE over Uber or Lyft is the absence of “Surge pricing” or “prime time Pricing.” TRIDE notes that “Uber raised their rates to 5.6x last Saturday night alone,” meaning that a $10 ride with TRIDE would have cost $56 with Uber. Litton feels that this practice is immoral and notes that “we do not want to see people have to make the choice of saving money and driving drunk versus taking a ride with a sober driver.”
Litton mentions that all of the money made from TRIDE “stays local” in Tulsa, and they “want to give back to the community that supports us.”
Litton notes that TRIDE has expanded past the Tulsa metro area into Owasso, Collinsville, Jenks, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Claremore and Catoosa, as well as Austin and Corpus Christi, TX. They plan to begin working in Oklahoma City, Lawton and Stillwater by October 1st.
TRIDE is available for download on iOS and Android platforms, and users can get a $5 discount on their first ride with the code RideTRIDE.