New driver-owned ride-sharing startup Arcade City launched its mobile app this month to the Apple and Android app stores. Drivers have given more than 1,000 rides to customers in 100+ cities across 27 states, and Australia.
Arcade City has begun integrating its service with Blockchain technology using a decentralized application platform called Ethereum, similar to Bitcoin but more suitable for governing peer-to-peer interactions.
Arcade City will use Ethereum to issue ‘crypto-equity' to drivers, allowing them to own up to 100% of the company by 2020.
Launched in the aftermath of dramatic rate cuts by Uber and Lyft that decimated driver take-home pay up to 40% overnight with no warning, Arcade City quickly signed up more than 3,000 drivers, most of them current or former drivers for the ‘big two' ride-sharers.
Arcade City lets riders 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.
“The Achilles' heel of Uber and Lyft is their centralized management of pricing,” said Arcade City founderChristopher David, a former Uber driver. “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,” said David. “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.”
Arcade City drivers have so far given rides in 27 states and counting: 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 state, and Washington, D.C.
Drivers are also active in Australia, with Mexico, Canada and Sweden launching in the spring.