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A new Uber competitor enters the scene

Here’s Get Me.

Less than two years after Uber disrupted Houston’s taxi market – with most of that time spent largely competition-free – the company now finds itself the established player facing upstart competition.

Get Me, a Dallas-based company that launched in North Texas in August and Austin earlier this month, is scheduled to start serving Houston on Thursday.

The company, similar to Uber and others in that it connects clients and drivers via a smartphone app, offers rides for people and the delivery of goods.

In the company’s parlance, it is providing something or somewhere, said Jonathan Laramy, Get Me’s co-founder.

“We built around those SOS moments,” Laramy said this week from Las Vegas, where the company will launch next month. “We all have these different scenarios where we’re having people over and need something, or you have an emergency and need to get somewhere.”

Every driver who accepts passengers will comply with the city’s regulations regarding paid rides, company officials said. Many drivers who have signed up so far are already approved because they are joining Get Me after stints as Uber drivers, Laramy said, and will likely work for both organizations.

“They should do whatever works best for them,” he said. “The drivers deserve to earn a fair wage. If that’s with us, great.”

[…]

Meanwhile, many Uber drivers have grown increasingly frustrated with the company, especially former cabdrivers that jumped to Uber’s black car service.

A recent increase in the company’s share of each trip’s cost – to 28 percent from 20 percent – irritated drivers, though the increase only applies to new drivers.

Others have complained an oversaturation of drivers has made it more difficult to make a living, pitting the full-time UberBlack drivers against the part-time UberX folks. UberBlack drivers organized in August at Bush Intercontinental Airport, and have had preliminary discussions about striking.

In Houston, Get Me is feeding off uncertainty about the deal drivers have with Uber.

“We love Uber, they paved the way for this crowd-sourcing economy with the other (companies),” Laramy said. “But when we got into this we came in and said ‘Can we make this work for the driver, so it’s something they want to do?’ What we found is you can maximize the amount of money from a driver’s perspective over the course of an hour.”

This helped inspire the “something or somewhere” model, Laramy said. By adding deliveries, drivers need not rely solely on carrying passengers to make money.

Get Me, working out of a trailer in a parking lot on Washington Avenue, has 300 drivers signed up, exceeding its goal of 100 before Thursday’s Houston launch.

Here’s their webpage and Facebook page. What’s good about this is that it gives the drivers some options, which is the best way to make their experience better. Uber is pretty pervasive here, so I don’t know how successful they’re going to be at attracting riders, and that’s ultimately what matters. But hey, if competition was good when Uber entered, it’s good when someone other than Uber enters. I wish them well.

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4 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I agree with Kuff…..the more competition, the better it should be for riders, as well as drivers. [Hannibal Smith] I love it when a free market comes together! [Hannibal Smith]

  2. Steve Houston says:

    I don’t use much public transportation nor do I ride cabs or alternatives locally. Are the problems the huge volume of regulations applied to these endeavors really common in most cases?

  3. Joshua bend bullard says:

    In Houston co brad Bradford and jack Christie continue to make it a crime to hire transportation unless you pay right to labor fees is your fare, u either pay uber fees or you pay the taxi medallion holder but its against the law for any citizen to hire a background city checked driver direct.while cities across America are abolishing right to labor fees Bradford and Christ fight to keep them.mayor parker should sign an executive order abolishing all limits on market entry for Houston taxis just like she has already don’t for uber.because in Houston,no person should have to pay,for the right to work,shame on jack Christie and co brad Bradford.

  4. Steve Houston says:

    Is this the part where I point out any two councilmen have little control over anything at all in Houston?