Manitoba

Entrepreneurs eye Winnipeg as potential city for accessible ride hailing app

Two entrepreneurs will head to Winnipeg Monday on a fact-finding mission to see if there’s a need for a ride-sharing service they’d like to develop that targets people living with disabilities.

Community forum Tuesday at Independent Living Resource Centre

The Uber app is displayed on an iPhone as taxi drivers wait for passengers at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Two entrepreneurs will head to Winnipeg Monday on a fact-finding mission to see if there's a need for a ride-hailing service they'd like to develop that targets people living with disabilities.

"This is really kind of like a made in Winnipeg solution," said Peter Grande, a co-founder of MUVE. Grande and his co-partner Anthony Shannon who is based in Montreal will be in the city for a community forum Tuesday night at the Independent Living Resource Centre.

Grande didn't want to give specifics about the venture ahead of the meeting but said the app would be called MUVE and would specialize in providing accessible rides — a market he feels other companies have ignored.

"We find that some of the leading ride-sharing platforms come out and they just go for the low-hanging fruit or the easy stuff." Grande said once you figure out how to provide an accessible service "the rest of it's pretty easy."

Big delays getting ride now: Winnipeg man

Samuel Unrau said he'd be in favour of an accessible ride-hailing service.

The Winnipegger said it's still very challenging at times to get an accessible cab in the city quickly if not booked ahead of time compared to other places in Canada like Vancouver.
Samuel Unrau said hailing an accessible taxi in Winnipeg usually means a long wait. (Samuel Unrau )

"The majority of the time is you're looking at a significant delay before being able to get a ride," Unrau said.

Unrau said sometimes he's opted to just take a regular cab instead of waiting longer for an accessible ride but doing that has meant a hassle taking down his wheelchair.

Grande said the idea for the app is that it would be community-led and sustainable. Two things he said are key.

The forum starts at 5 p.m. on Tuesday at the Independent Living Resource Centre. Several ride-hailing services started up in Winnipeg after vehicle-for-hire companies became eligible to operate in Winnipeg on March 1.

The Winnipeg Community Taxi Coalition, which represents major Winnipeg taxi companies Duffy's and Unicity, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

About the Author

​Austin Grabish started reporting when he was young, landing his first byline when he was just 18. He joined CBC in 2016 after freelancing for several outlets. ​​In 2018, he was part of a team of CBC journalists who won the Ron Laidlaw Award for the corporation's extensive digital coverage on asylum seekers crossing into Canada. Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca

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