After Uber and Lyft decided to “pause” operations following a vote to not relax driver regulations, upstart competitor Get Me is moving to fill the void in Austin and beyond. The Dallas-founded company hopes to seize the ridesharing market with a few twists.
Get Me is a mobile-focused company that allows users to request car services for personal transportation or deliver goods from retailers. Should a certain store not be listed by the company, prospective customers can “type what you need into the App in your own words and tell us where to deliver it”, according to the company website. No request is too little or great as customers could order a coffee from a local shop or have lumber hauled to a worksite. Users can also track drivers and receive alerts when sought goods are purchased and delivered. The app also offers a “Go-Giver” function that coordinates orders and deliveries between merchants and area homeless shelters.
Like its larger competitors, one can request a ride based on GPS-location at the current time or set a specific rendezvous, where a variety of vehicles from compact car to limousine may be available.
Originally founded in Dallas, the company relocated to Austin in early 2016 to take advantage of the “startup and technology friendly culture of the city” Chief Experience Officer (CXO) Jonathan Laramy said in a December release.
The startup currently maintains operations in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Las Vegas with publicized efforts to expand.
Filling the vacuum left behind Uber and Lyft is proving an emergent challenge for the company. The official Facebook page announced in a post on Monday that drivers from the two major competitors can enjoy expedited processing in under two hours if they hope to serve the Austin area. Suspended Uber and Lyft drivers have expressed concern with switching sides over doubts that the startup can provide enough driving opportunities to remain a reliable economic opportunity.
Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported Monday on the lengths Uber and Lyft went to promote Proposition 1. A total $8 million was spent to promote the ballot measure that, if passed, would have softened a December 2015 Austin City Council rule that requires on demand drivers to pass a background check and submit to fingerprinting. The national companies threatened to vacate the market if the regulations remained in place.
Get Me has used its Facebook page to offer commentary on its competitors’ moves to influence city ordinances and abandon the market in protest. In a post from Sunday, the company contended that it “must follow the rules” like any other local business and claims it “did not spend a dime on any campaigns” to advance its viewpoint on the regulation. The company has also expressed concerns that another vacuum may be created in Houston if Uber were to follow Lyft to the exit over similar background requirements.
The Texas startup has positioned itself as compliant with the politically-charged city ordinances in question, noting on its website that “all of our Go-Getter drivers go through our own background check, vehicle inspection, and personal interview.”
Smartphone users can access the Get Me app in the iOS App and Google Play Stores.
Get Me hopes to grow into 15 cities across North America in the near future.
Logan Churchwell is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. You can follow him on Twitter @LCChurchwell.