Wridz Rolls Out in Raleigh—Adding Another Rideshare Option

Wridz rolls out in Raleigh—shaking up the rideshare market.

Ever wished you could rebook a rideshare driver you dig for your next ride? Well that feature will soon be a reality. Enter Wridz, the “evolution of rideshare” that’ll no doubt disrupt the Uber/Lyft-dominated market by making passengers and drivers its priority over the brand. Read: more affordable for the passenger, more lucrative for the driver.

Structured as a regional-based business with independent owners (think similar to a franchise), “Wridz is flipping the current rideshare business model on its head,” says Wridz Raleigh (Triangle-Triad) Managing Partner DM Bermudez, “rewarding drivers with a significantly higher earnings model, all while providing a higher emphasis on passenger safety at a lower cost to the consumer.”

Rolling out in Raleigh Dec. 1 with an initial focus Downtown, the platform will soon extend service to the Triangle—with a longer-term plan to expand westward to the Triad. Sure to fuel local fans, Wridz has already gathered plenty of momentum since its first fully operational market launched in Austin late last year. NTM media attention—including a cameo on Colbert praising driver pay and ribbing the “trippy” name (FYI it’s “rides” not “rids”).

The hip new kid on the block serves as an answer to the mounting dissatisfaction with driver treatment and how transactional Uber/Lyft have become, says Bermudez. “We’re hoping to change that and give passengers what they’re looking for”—both in terms of cost savings and a slew of unparalleled safety features.

To wit, the platform is gaining traction with its no-surge, 10%-lower-fares model ensuring only the “best and safest drivers” via highest criminal background and driving record standards, in-person drug screening, and identity verification. The brand’s commitment to safety hits especially close to home given a Raleigh teen made national news when she was hospitalized in November after jumping out of a moving Lyft for fear she was in danger.

For their part, drivers are buying in as well (literally). Each region charges a low monthly subscription fee for app access and, in exchange, the driver pockets 100% of fares, booking fees and tips—whereas, Uber/Lyft consistently take half (or more) of the passenger payment. 

“Ultimately, we want to be the company that really helps these drivers build their own passenger base and book of business.” And plans to soon roll out that “Preferred Drivers” feature is a big cog in the wheel of “allowing drivers to have more control and stake in how they develop relationships with passengers.” 

And, ultimately, as one of the early adopters, Raleigh was a no-brainer. “As a midmarket city that’s growing well with good demographics for rideshare use, it jumps out right away,” says Bermudez. “As a university hub—and with its population—it’s a hot market where there’s a lot of potential for future growth and need for this service.” Get ready to Wridz, Raleigh. wridz.com

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.