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TappCar launches new transportation service in Edmonton
Darrell Evans
March 14, 2016

It looks like taxi cabs in the city will have some considerable competition for the foreseeable future.

The transportation company TappCar will officially debut its services on Monday March 14th, and they have chosen Edmonton as their first city of operation.

TappCar is described as a hybrid of taxi cabs and ride sharing apps like Uber. The new company looks to take advantage of the efficiency of phone apps while offering the safety and professionalism of traditional taxi services.

The new transportation service is starting off with a bit of an advantage after they registered under the new private transportation provider category. This happened when the city approved the new vehicle-for-hire bylaw at the beginning of March. One of their would-be competitors Uber is still waiting for its hybrid insurance to get approval from the provincial government which isn’t expected to come through until June or July.

Though TappCar will have at least a couple of months head start on ride sharing companies like Uber, their spokesman Pascal Ryffel believes TappCar will still be successful even when companies like Uber come back to the city.

Speaking with 630CHED at a TappCar training session on March 13th, Ryffel stated they plan to fight competition with superior service.

“When we designed the business plan for this company we went under the assumption that Uber would be operating now (in Edmonton). The way that we planned to deal with that is just to have better service and be able to deliver more to the customer. We certainly think we will be able to compete with Uber, I mean the fact that they aren’t operating is a bonus but we would have been up and running anyways.”

TappCar doesn’t just look to provide better service to its customers however, the also strive to treat their own employees better than their competition.

Sam Sulumen is one of the new drivers that will be hitting the streets for TappCar on Monday. He originally wanted to drive a cab but found that TappCar offered a much better employee package.

“I wanted to be a cab driver but then those weekly rental fees of $400 to $450 were just too much. I would pay all of that and I would get nothing out of the company. I was struggling just to make ends meat and make the rental. This (TappCar) was a better deal because you’re paying a lot less and after that there giving you medical benefits, a pension plan and we’re part of a union.”

Ryffel believes the strong job benefits they offer are one of the main reasons why TappCar didn’t receive the same backlash from cab drivers as Uber did.

“I think the taxi drivers are very interested in coming to drive for us because in many way we’re able to offer a better deal than their current broker. We haven’t really received any backlash at all, it’s been very interesting to see how much support we have got from right across the city.”

TappCar will have close to 200 of their drivers on the streets for the big debut and Ryffel believes they will surpass that total by the end of the week.

The TappCar app is now available on both Apple and Android devices.