Need a lift? New ride-sharing service to hit streets of Moncton
Ride-sharing is coming to Moncton and cab companies are worried about what that will mean for their business
A new ride-sharing app is making its way to Moncton streets.
Gemoo, developed by Gene Mobility Inc., has begun signing up drivers and is meeting with Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold so it can roll out the service.
Amer Khaled, the Moncton-based COO of Gene Mobility, said Gemoo will function a lot like Uber.
There's people who like to use the old way to order a cab and there's of course most of the young people, who like to use the mobile application and have that experience.- Amer Khaled, COO of Gene Mobility
Riders and drivers are connected through a GPS system that calls on the closest drivers to pick people up and drive them to their destinations.
"You just download the app and put in your credit card information and we can pick you up from anywhere in the city," says Khaled.
Nicole Melanson, manager of communications with the City of Moncton, said the city is looking into the ride-sharing application to determine whether any regulations would be required.
The city would not say anything else about the planned service, whose counterparts have raised concerns in other cities, particularly about driver insurance and safety and the potential harm to the regulated taxi industry.
Working with city
But Khaled is confident Gemoo will go ahead in Moncton. He said he has already met the mayor and city manager and is working with city officials on regulations.
The company is vetting the drivers, he said, and there are criteria for the cars, including that they be no older than 2010 models and they be in a pristine state of cleanliness.
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With anything new, there will likely be a few bumps in the road, but Khaled expects everything will go smoothly.
"There's a market share that we will take," he said. "There's people who like to use the old way to order a cab and there's of course most of the young people, who like to use the mobile application and have that experience."
"This business model has been happening in cities around the world and I don't see why it wouldn't work here in Moncton."
He'll be tapping into a market that's already established in the city.
Taxi company hopes for fairness
Air Cab operations manager Mike Leger said his company welcomes the competition, but he's got a few concerns.
"It's not the first time we've had that kind of thing pop up," Leger said. "We're not opposed to having competition. Our big thing is we prefer to have competition on the same playing field."
"In Moncton, you have to have certain permits via the city, they govern that type of thing. There's of course commercial insurance and that type of thing."
As long as everyone competing in the market follows the same rules, it's fair.
"But if new companies are popping up and not following those same guidelines it kind of gives them an unfair advantage," Leger said.