Rival rideshare companies prepare for Twin Cities as Uber and Lyft threaten to leave

Smaller rideshare companies share plan to move into Minneapolis as Uber, Lyft threaten to leave

Smaller rideshare companies share plan to move into Minneapolis as Uber, Lyft threaten to leave

Two rideshare cooperatives say they’re getting ready to hit the streets of the Twin Cities as Uber and Lyft prepare to stop their services in the area.

Friday afternoon, the Minnesota Uber Lyft Drivers Association (MULDA) hosted a press conference to introduce the two companies — Hich and Drivers Cooperative, also known as Co-op Ride.

A representative for Hich, Mustafa Sheika, says they currently operate in Canada and Africa.

“We believe that the drivers and the company can sit down and eat the cake, rather than today, in each city, the drivers are fighting over the crumbs,” Sheika said.

Eric Forman, co-founder of Drivers Cooperative, says they’re currently working in New York City and expect to roll out their services in Colorado soon.

“Thank you to the drivers here for standing up and saying ‘Not in Minnesota. Enough is enough,’” Forman said followed by a round of applause.

“We are launching a community-driven campaign to build driver-owned rideshare in Minnesota,” he added. “Let’s build something better and different.”

A big push from Forman was to have riders and drivers download their app — which can be found under ‘Co-op Ride.’ As of Friday afternoon, Forman said at least 200 drivers had signed up…far from what he’d like before launching in the Twin Cities.

The two companies say they’re still in the process of getting the proper licensing but are eager to start as Uber and Lyft threaten to leave following the Minneapolis City Council passing a minimum pay ordinance for rideshare drivers.

While that ordinance could change — the council is set to discuss it at their next meeting in April — Uber and Lyft say the way it stands now, they’re planning to leave the Twin Cities market come May 1.

When asked about rider safety, the two cooperatives say they’ll be held to the same standard as Uber and Lyft — including but not limited to having insurance, car inspections and driver background checks.

Specifics on prices and pay were not shared by the possible newcomers.