People’s Ride is a co-op ride-hailing company in Grand Rapids – Michigan: drivers own the service in common and collectively decide how to spend its profits (for example on deploying an app to go with its website); for-profit competitors like Uber take 30% commissions from their drivers and deliver them to investors – while People’s Ride spends all the revenue paying drivers and improving the service.
People’s Ride bootstrapped itself with the personal funds of founder Matthew Bair and with a small Gofundme campaign.
It was able to take advantage of special insurance packages created for Uber and Lyft drivers – though unlike those services it doesn’t extend insurance to drivers (drivers pay for their own – though they’re contemplating shifting this expense to the business).
Drivers earn 55% more than they would driving for Uber or Lyft.
I substitute teach in inner city schools.
When talking about People’s Ride I try to explain the business in a way that will relate to the students’ real-life experiences.
I try to explain what it would look like if Uber was organized in a non-capitalist way.
Control over profits.
I call this the ‘secret to infinite wealth’ which always grabs their attention.
Uber is a multi-billion dollar company.
Imagine what would happen if that money stayed with the drivers.
How would that much money help the workers – their family – friends and community?
This is a job where employees bring most of their own capital too: the car – insurance – customer service – driving – promotions and referrals and in our case developing the People’s Ride app software.