25Cab is a ridesharing platform which allows drivers to set their own price for the trips and unlike other ridesharing platforms, does not take a cut of driver earnings. Passengers choose their own driver and have the ability to tune their ride preferences with 25Cab. Blake Turner founded 25Cab because he felt that “the existing rideshare platforms were taking advantage of drivers” and it’s time that a less expensive, and a fair alternative is available for the drivers and the riders.
We recently interviewed Blake Turner to know more about 25Cab and how he wishes to disrupt the ridesharing industry.
Blake, It’s a pleasure talking to you. How exactly did you come up with the idea of 25Cab?
I always felt that the “big” names in the ridesharing industry are exploitative in the manner they operate. Not just the services provided by them are expensive for the riders, even drivers are not treated in a fair manner. I always felt that a more equitable platform should be there for the Drivers and Riders. As you know, unlike other rideshare platforms, 25cab does not mess with the driver earnings. Moreover, the platform gives more flexibility to the riders as they can choose their own drivers.
If I am a Driver and I have been using a platform like Uber for sometime, why should I switch to using 25Cab?
The answer is simple. Unlike Uber, we are not involved in driver/passenger transaction and we take no fee off fares. Using the platform is absolutely free for the first 8 months. After which the drivers can choose to pay a nominal fee per month, per 6 months or per year to use our product. The fee we charge costs $3 to $7 per month, depending on the plan, which is nothing compared to the 25% or more Uber takes from drivers. In a way, you will be the complete owner of what you earn.
We have seen several instances in the past where Drivers or Riders have faced assault from each other. It has also raised concerns around the long-term viability of this business model. What measures Cab25 has taken to make sure that such incidents do not happen?
I agree that safety concerns have gone up in the last couple of years. 25Cab requires credit card numbers and ID photos to validate user identities. Drivers are reviewed & their profile is not editable. Their license plates must be displayed, their pictures clear and their car photos not stock images. 25Cab records all driver activity and saves it indefinitely. If you ride with 25Cab your ride is being documented and your driver’s identity linked to it. Thus, we have put adequate safety mechanisms in place.
Being an Entrepreneur is never easy. What were the initial challenges that you faced in your endeavor?
For me, development was a struggle. It is a very complex app and ensuring a seamless, glitch-free user experience from the outset was paramount. Releasing it in every language, every currency and every country possible was very difficult. Ensuring that multiple forms of payment, including bitcoin, could be accepted by drivers was and having up to date exchange rates was quite involved. Finally, allowing drivers to see average prices and set their own based on a bell curve was totally a custom build. Moreover, keeping the cost down to build the platform was a major challenge. To overcome this, we have a lean but focused team and the effort was always to make the site bug free. All of our expenses are on advertising at the moment.
Do you see Driverless Cabs coming in the picture in the near future?
No. Unlike Uber, we operate in the developing world where that is simply not even an idea at the moment. I know Uber is pursuing this objective, which will simply put people out of work and free up their drivers to join 25Cab. I sincerely doubt they can maintain a giant fleet of driverless cabs and charge less than the driving entrepreneurs using 25Cab. If they want to hand us the market, that is a great way to do it.
Will people prefer driverless cabs to 25Cab drivers for safety though?
There is no doubt that driverless cars will be safe when Uber releases them. However, Uber has already proven people can drive safely as well. It is a wash.
What then are some potential changes 25Cab might bring to the market, other than saving drivers money?
I foresee drivers being able to organize to vote Uber’s driverless plans out of many cities in the US. I also foresee drivers being able to lobby mechanics in their area to work with them at reduced rates as compared to Uber. Uber conducts business unethically. I think the sky is the limit on what their drivers will do if and when Uber tries to fire them. Uber already has a 98% yearly driver turnover rate, due to low morale I think. They take a huge chunk of driver profits, now they plan to get rid of them altogether. I think they are going to find out it wasn’t such a good idea to step on drivers’ heads for their IPO.
In which regions can people avail 25Cab services?
25Cab has the flexibility to be used in any region and in almost any circumstance. Moreover, language is not a bar for using 25Cab.
You can get in touch with the Cab25 team here.