RideCo hoping to save #TOWRCorridor from perils of 401 commute

Toronto traffic

The air leaves your lungs. You feel a churn in your stomach. Sweat quickly builds upon your brow.
 

These are the physical manifestations we all have felt in the Waterloo Region when we hear, “hey, you need to go to Toronto tomorrow.”

RideCo shares some similarities to services like Uber and Lyft, but differs in its focus on shared rides and municipal compliance.

You could take a GO train or go Greyhound. But with those, you are locked into their timetable. While we wait for all-day, two-way GO service, the team at Waterloo-based RideCo is working to make on-demand Waterloo to Toronto transit a reality.

RideCo shares some similarities to services like Uber and Lyft, but differs in two major ways.

First, RideCo actively works with municipalities to ensure it’s on the right side of transit policy. RideCo’s first partnership was with Metrolinx and Milton Transit. Over a year-long trial, 45% of app users switched from personal automobile use to RideCo. Second, RideCo’s focus is on shared rides. Their system builds optimized routes for drivers based on passenger demand – putting more people into fewer cars.

RideCo Liberty Village

RideCo’s downtown Toronto transit zone.

RideCo operates in downtown Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo today. Riders can book their ride minutes or days in advance; drivers are a mix of traditional taxis and private drivers.

To help with your looming drive down the 401, RideCo is also getting ready to launch service between Waterloo and Toronto. Leaving every 30 minutes between 6am and 10pm, you’ll be able to grab a shared ride where you can lightly wrap your fingers around your phone instead of a death grip on your steering wheel. The service runs both ways too – so if you’re based in Toronto, you can get to Waterloo for a meeting without wasting an hour and a half behind the wheel.

RideCo is also looking for feedback on where you would be heading – The Accelerator Centre, DMZ, MaRS, downtown, Pearson, Billy Bishop, or maybe Wilbur on King West (that’s where I’d go). “Not surprisingly at all, downtown and Pearson are the most requested drop offs in Toronto,” said Matthew Monteyne, co-founder and COO at RideCo.

Rides will run between $39 and $45 each way, depending on where you are being picked up and dropped off. With a round trip price around $78, RideCo is aiming to keep your transit costs and stress down.

Alex Kinsella

Alex Kinsella

Alex Kinsella is a contributor to BetaKIt. He's worked for tech companies - large and startup - in customer service, consulting, development, product management, and an odd two-year stint as a PR and Social Media manager. He's currently an account manager at Communitech where he works with small to medium-sized tech companies. His dream is to one day own Ethel's Lounge in Waterloo.