New driver-owned ridesharing start-up Arcade City has recently launched its mobile app to the Apple and Android app stores. Arcade City has begun integrating its service with blockchain technology using Ethereum to govern its peer-to-peer transactions. Arcade City will use Ethereum to issue ‘crypto-equity’ to drivers, allowing them to own up to 100% of the company by 2020. So far, drivers have given more than 1,000 rides to customers in over 100 cities across 27 states and Australia.
The company was launched after dramatic rate cuts by Uber and Lyft that reduced driver take-home pay by up to 40% overnight with without warning; Arcade City took advantage of the dissatisfaction of these drivers by implementing a decentralized network that put the control in the hands of the users and drivers, with no central body able to dictate terms at will. Arcade City lets customers review driver profiles in advance and choose the driver they prefer. Drivers are free to set their own rates and offer additional services like deliveries or roadside assistance. Approximately half of current drivers give rides on a ‘pay what you think is fair’ basis.
Arcade City founder and former Uber driver, Christopher David stated: “The Achilles’ heel of Uber and Lyft is their centralized management of pricing. By decentralizing that decision to the level of the driver and rider, Arcade City frees the driver to be an entrepreneur, and empowers the rider with control over their entire experience. Both drivers and riders are loving it so far. Uber and Lyft treat drivers terribly, like numbers in an algorithm. To them drivers are just a temporary nuisance, to be replaced with self-driving cars at the earliest opportunity. They even hide that fact from the drivers. But drivers are beginning to wake up to reality – and actively search for an alternative.”
Drivers are currently active in the Australia and 27 states in the US: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Washington state. Mexico, Canada and Sweden are planned to have launches in the spring.