New Roseville rideshare app competes with Uber

Former Yellow Cab owner launches business in Sacramento area
By: Trevor Bohatch - For the Press Tribune
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A local man and former owner of Yellow Cab of Roseville has created a mobile app to compete with rideshare giants in the greater Sacramento area.


App creator Francisco Rizet launched “Zride” July 1 on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, aiming to take on rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. Though founded just under seven years ago, Uber’s latest valuation suggests the company is worth $66 billion.


“The rideshare (industry hugely) impacted business in our community, because it’s cheap [and] it’s unregulated. Sometimes people like cheap, but they don’t see what consequences are involved,” Rizet said. “We are working for one single purpose: a safe, cheaper ride for the community.”


Along with the relatively new industry’s success have come allegations of discrimination against minority passengers, questions of passenger safety and accusations of benefitting from a lack of regulation, allowing them to effectively edge out traditional taxi companies. Rizet hopes that Zride will not only help alleviate these problems, but also allow local drivers to continue contributing to the area economy.


“We are professionals,” Rizet said. “We are not some (random person) jumping in the car and going driving. What people in the community have to realize is, (taxi companies) contribute to the police department, we contribute to the city, we contribute to the DMV.”


Zride drivers are vetted in the same way as in traditional taxi companies, which require them to submit to a fingerprint background check with the police and register for a commercial driver license. In most cities, Uber does not currently require its drivers to submit to a fingerprint background test or carry any more than a traditional driver license.


“The police department are the ones to authorize who will drive (for Zride) and who is safe,” Rizet said.


He added that Zride’s drivers would not discriminate when picking up passengers.


“We don’t discriminate. If you have a credit card, you can go on the application,” Rizet said. “We always pick up people – we don’t discriminate, no matter what.”


While also providing the best ride for consumers, Rizet said that by creating the app he hoped to help small business owners compete as a team. Zride currently boasts nearly 100 registered drivers.


Passengers who hail a ride with Zride’s app can call any size vehicle at any time of the day, for $1 per mile. While other rideshare apps force consumers to agree to variable pricing throughout the day as the demand for rides rises and falls, Zride’s rate stays constant.


“If you get in (an Uber) at midnight, the price depends on the demand,” Rizet said. “With Zride, it’s the same dollar amount. It doesn’t matter what size car you are looking for, it’s still the same dollar amount.”


Looking forward, Rizet hopes that in six months or a year’s time Zride will have helped revolutionize travel in Sacramento. He is also looking into opportunities to expand the app’s service to other parts of the state to bring consumers “the best service that money can by at the same price (as rideshare competitors), or sometimes better.”