Dallas takes two steps into the transportation future with the city's official approval of technology-driven ride-share companies and a new player joining the market.
After months of debate, the Dallas City Council voted on December 10 to overturn an ordinance that favored Dallas' powerful Yellow Cab company and makes room for alternative companies such as Uber and Lyft. All car-for-hire companies will be subject to city regulations.
At the same time, a local option called Oneride debuts its on-demand black car app with claims of lower mileage rates, no surge pricing and no pricing by the minute. According to the founders, all of the drivers are commercially licensed.
"We're a service industry going into an app company, instead of an app trying to get into the service industry," says Oneride co-owner Tony Brusdeilins.
The Oneride app comes from Tony Brusdeilins and Brian Haigwood, owners of Plano-based limo company Superior One Transportation, who saw a shift in the market when Uber and Lyft came into town. They altered their model accordingly, but with a unique perspective.
"We feel a major difference is that Brian and I have limo experience," Brusdeilins says. "We're a service industry going into an app company, instead of an app trying to get into the service industry. You won't get lackluster service."
Their cars and drivers are licensed and permitted by the City of Dallas, which includes background checks, minimum insurance and vehicle inspections.
The duo launched Oneride in November after researching what riders wanted in an app. They've included features like "ride later," in which users can request a pick-up at a certain time, as well as the option to book reservations by the hour. There is also a note system that informs drivers of trip details, plus the ability to add a tip at the end of the ride.
Tips are not required, but they wanted to create a cashless option that ensured the driver could receive a bonus for driving well, as opposed to built-in tips that other car services tout.
"Some [competitor] drivers say that the gratuity is included at 20 percent, or some clients want to add tip and the drivers can't get it," Brusdeilins says. "Once a [Oneride] run is complete, the passenger can close out the trip with a gratuity and rating of the driver. The tip goes on the app, and all of it goes to the driver.
"We think it will create a more professional service. Since they have an opportunity to earn a gratuity, they'll perform on a higher level."
The partners are looking to expand Oneride to other parts of Texas and the country, while also adding assisted transportation vehicles for users that need help getting around.
Under the new City of Dallas rules, taxis will still have maximum rates, while apps such as Oneride will be unregulated. No matter the company, all drivers must get background checks. And vehicles will be subject to more rigorous inspections, rather than the current rules, which retire cars after a certain age.
The new rules go into effect April 30.