“We’re just trying to find a way to make it cheaper or as attractive as it is to ride for Uber,” said Greg Klibanov, CEO of American Cab, based in Thousand Palms, who was tired of losing drivers to on-demand car service, Uber.
“They came out here in a big way, they really have no regulation and it’s a lot easier for them to compete,” he said.
So he came up with a new business model: to allow drivers to supply their own cars, like Uber, and save on the $925 a week lease fee.
“It would be cheaper, $450 to $500,” Klibanov said.
His drivers will still get to keep 100% of the fares, while Uber takes a 25% cut, along with other fees.
They can pick up customers both via an app, called Curb, or sit and flag them at hotels and airports, something Uber drivers can’t do.
But they won’t be able to adjust fares based on demand, what Uber calls price surging, which could help save you big money.
“During coachella fest people were getting charged $500-$600 for a ride we would have charged $70 for,” Klibanov said.
Though Klibinov admits standard fares are a few bucks higher on average than Uber, you get more for your money when it comes to safety.
Uber is in the hot seat internationally for drivers accused of sexual assault. Unlike American Cab, the company doesn’t require background checks.
“You could have somebody that’s an ex-felon, someone on probation and now they’re interacting with these customers, with the public,” Klibanov said.
So far a handful of Uber drivers already made the switch back.
“It was very attractive to them at first but they’re just not making the money, they’re not making tips,” he said.