RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — If you’ve taken a rideshare service home after a concert or a sports game, you’re probably all-too-familiar with prices surging.
A new rideshare company is trying to change that.
‘Wridz’ is launching in Downtown Raleigh on Thursday night.
The company promises cheaper fares, no surge pricing and daily background checks on drivers.
It comes as safety concerns grow among rideshare users.
Steve Wright, the CEO of Wridz, said his team started the company a few years ago to fix what they were hearing from drivers and passengers.
A driver’s perspective
Robert Ryce, a rideshare driver who says he has driven with another rideshare service for three years, is ready to change lanes and drive with Wridz.
CBS 17 asked him how he heard about the company.
“My wife and I were just googling, and I was like, ‘there’s gotta be something better,’ and she found it,” he recalled.
He said safety is important to him as both a driver and a passenger.
“I really think there’s not a lot of trust between the other rideshare companies,” he said. “And I think there’s going to be a lot of trust with Wridz. After doing the background checks, the drug testing… that’s where they had me from hello, basically.”
When it comes to passenger safety, CEO Wright said they have local ownership in each of their markets to interview all of their drivers in person and perform extensive background checks.
He said the passenger pick-up process is safe too, and that it’s very difficult to get into the wrong vehicle.
Wright pointed out a feature in which a unique driver ID number is displayed on a lighted windshield placard that only that driver has. The passenger has the same number on their phone, so they can check it before getting into the vehicle.
For extra safety, passengers can scan the driver’s QR code on the placard, which will give them a green checkmark signaling it’s their driver, or a red ‘X’ if it is not their driver.
Drivers can also easily find passengers in large crowds by the passenger holding up a number given to them on their screen, which is white with a red background, according to the company.
As a driver, Ryce said he feels safer doing this, especially because he knows the Raleigh area.
What does it cost?
Wridz drivers keep 100 percent of what people pay for rides, just by paying a $100 monthly subscription fee, according to the company.
“In a lot of cases, it doubles what the drivers are seeing in a same or similar trip,” said CEO Wright.
Ryce said he doesn’t think the subscription fee is a lot of money, because he said more than $100 earned from his other rideshare rides goes to the company every day anyway.
That, in addition to no surge pricing, also makes fares cheaper for passengers, he said.
Wridz also encourages drivers to promote themselves, according to Wright.
“We’re listening to them,” said Wright. “We make changes every week to our app at the recommendations of drivers and passengers, which will be ongoing.”
Wridz in other cities
Wridz has launched in places like Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio and Texas.
Wright says 52 more markets are signed up to go live within the next 12-to-18 months.
This includes Atlanta, which he said is currently finalizing the paperwork to start onboarding drivers.
After their launch in Raleigh, they plan to expand west toward Durham, Chapel Hill and the Piedmont Triad.
Driving in Raleigh
As of their Raleigh launch date, Wridz said they had 42 fully approved, onboarded drivers and 111 drivers who have started the onboarding process to drive in Raleigh.
When talking about his interview with the company, Ryce said Wridz is looking for people who are personable and really take care of their vehicles.
Click here to learn more about Wridz.