…but then it turned out that it was not.
According to an article in Boston Herald, a new ride-hailing company has quietly launched in Boston.
Fasten — which began operating last month — works exactly like UberX and Lyft. Using an app, riders request a ride and drivers working their own hours in their own cars pick up the passengers.
What’s the difference? There’s only one – pricing. Instead of taking 20 percent from the drivers for each ride, Fasten takes $1. “We’re the first company that offers a real alternative,” said Kirill Evdakov, chief executive of Fasten. “We’re focusing on making this more affordable for riders and more profitable for drivers at the same time.”
Fasten also forgoes surge pricing, instead allowing riders to “boost” their own fare if a driver doesn’t accept a ride quickly enough. To do that, the company said, they aren’t taking as much in profit as competitors from each ride.
“The only way this works is you squeeze in the middle as a company,” said Vlad Christoff, chief operating officer. “What we want is rides. The only way to do this is make it more affordable for your riders.”
Both Uber and Lyft have raised billions of dollars in venture capital. Fasten, meanwhile, is backed by a $9 million investment from its chairman and co-founder, and has no outside investors yet.The company has been recruiting drivers, including by requesting Uber rides and then pitching drivers on the benefits of Fasten.
One driver, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Jonel, said he now drives for Uber, Lyft and Fasten. He said he has made more money with Fasten.
“If another company comes and doesn’t take 20 percent, every driver will go to them,” Jonel said.
Still, Fasten has a ways to go.
“Uber has the biggest clientele — I know I’m going to make more money,” Jonel said.
I will send you my comments on this later this week. In the meantime feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
See you tomorrow at my new training “How To Get Tens of Thousands of Dollars of “Advertising” Free Of Charge By Making Your Taxi Service Famous Both Online and Offline,”