Edmonton startup TappCar shifts into high gear in anticipation of launch

Two weeks before its anticipated launch, local startup TappCar tried to court some drivers Sunday in Edmonton.

The company held an event Sunday to court drivers

Tapp Car, a local start up company that falls between Uber and a taxi service , tries to court drivers. 1:18

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.

TappCar spokesperson Pascal Ryffel said he doesn't understand Uber's opposition to commercial licenses.

TappCar spokesman Pascal Ryffel said the Edmonton startup doesn't understand why Uber opposes drivers requiring commercial licences. (CBC)

"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."

Luke Remillard looks over the paperwork at TappCar's driver sign up event held on Feb 28, 2016. (CBC)

"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.

Tony Poch says he was a little turned off of TappCar by the weekly costs. (CBC)

"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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.