Edmonton startup TappCar set to take on taxis and Uber

With the current absence of Uber in Alberta’s capital, the Edmonton-based ridesharing service TappCar is hoping to make an impact.

The company has been able to court 200 drivers for launch

TappCar is set to start operations on Monday, March 13. (CBC)

On Monday TappCar's engines officially rev to life. 

With the current absence of Uber in Alberta's capital, the Edmonton-based ridesharing service TappCar is hoping to make an impact.  

At a final training event on Sunday, the day before the offical launch, TappCar spokesman Pascal Ryffel pointed out how the startup company is different from the existing options. 

"We're different from Uber because we're fully legal," said Ryffel.

"We're also driver focused, all of our drivers have pensions and health care benefits which is quite different from the taxi brokers as well."

TappCar spokesperson Pascal Ryffel said the Edmonton startup is 'driver focused.' (CBC)

The company describes itself as a blend of the two models it says it is different from — mixing the efficiency of Uber with the safety of a traditional taxi service. 

The company has been able to court about 200 drivers to take the wheel for the launch. 

Sam Suleman took part in the soft launch, driving for TappCar over the weekend. 

"I don't think Uber (will) stand a chance right now," said Suleman.

"But as far as taxis are concerned, people might choose TappCar over taxis, from the feedback I got from customers over the last two nights, the people find themselves a lot more secure. 

"This is something new, it's in, and people find it's a lot better and they don't like the attitude of taxi drivers. So, so far, so good."

Uber had to shut down its Edmonton operation after the provincial government announced the insurance required to meet Edmonton's bylaw won't be available until July 1. 

TappCar requires its drivers to have a commercial licence like a standard taxi driver as well as the same insurance, two things Uber has opposed. 

Asif Ahmed has driven for both Uber and taxis but has decided to take his chances driving with TappCar. (CBC)

Asif Ahmed started driving for Co-op Taxi but left for Uber because he was able to control his own hours, he has now hitched his trailer to TappCar. 

"I always had this thing (with Uber) in the back of my mind, that what if there was a collision or insurance issue or something. What exactly would happen?

"It was all a grey area. TappCar came, I was really happy, I feel so much (more) comfortable now."

Ahmed said he is pleased with the way TappCar works and how they deal with insurance and payments.

He is also happy he gets medical benefits and a pension plan with TappCar, something he didn't receive when driving for the other two companies. 


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