Edmonton startup TappCar shifts into high gear in anticipation of launch
The company held an event Sunday to court drivers
Two weeks before its anticipated launch, local startup TappCar tried to court some drivers Sunday in Edmonton.
The company describes itself as a mix between Uber and a traditional taxi service — mixing the efficiency of the former with the safety of the latter.
They are "a driver-focused company" aiming to compete against multinational companies like Uber, the company said in a statement.
TappCar requires its drivers to have a commercial licence like a standard taxi driver as well as the same insurance, two things Uber opposes.
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TappCar spokesperson Pascal Ryffel said he doesn't understand Uber's opposition to commercial licenses.
"To get a class four driver's license, fees are not very expensive and doesn't take that much time," Ryffel said, "So we're not really sure why Uber says it can't operate if that requirement is still in place."
For some potential drivers, TappCar's willingness to follow the rules is what sets them apart from the competition.
Luke Remillard — who attended Sunday's event and is considering driving for TappCar — describes them as "above the board."
"They have the proper insurance, and I have the proper licence," Remillard said.
"I think you have to be above board with everything nowadays. We have safety programs that work and industry recognized practice. Instead of fighting the system, let's join it."
Remillard works in the oilfield and hasn't worked in a few weeks.
He thought TappCar may be a novel way to make cash during the downturn without the expense of a taxi plate.
Some, however, weren't impressed with the fee structure.
Tony Poch, an out of work trucker who already has a class one licence, was turned off by weekly fees that could hit $250.
"Well that's kind of it," said Poch.
"I have maybe five bucks in my pocket and that's all I have got coming in."
Ryffel said that TappCar was aiming to have 50 drivers signed up Sunday.