Dearborn’s Zoom Ride, a new ride-sharing service, has launched its first test in metro Detroit. The company plans to begin providing services in Detroit in early January 2020 and expand to five other U.S. cities throughout the year. It is designed to be in direct competition with Uber Technologies and Lyft Line.
Founders Bilal Hashwi, chairman, and Basel Yasin, CEO, say Zoom Ride will fill gaps in the current ride-share marketplace by improving customer and driver safety and increasing income for drivers.
“Metro Detroit is an excellent market to test our ride-share service where there is so much room for expansion,” says Yasin. “A 2018 study showed that 35 percent of Americans now use ride-sharing – up 240 percent in three years. The ride-share market is expecting a 10-times increase in the next decade, especially in areas like Detroit where services are underutilized. Currently, 67 percent of the Detroit market has never used a ride share. Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago drivers have seen the largest growth in rider services and increases in driver wages.”
The company had a meeting on Wednesday with prospective drivers and reviewed the results of a driver focus group that helped to determine driver needs and discussed specially designed payment schedules, benefits, call center support, and perks.
The Zoom Ride app will include more than 10 functions not available on Uber and Lyft. It will display photos of both the driver and the passenger as a safety precaution, and work is underway to use video monitoring in vehicles. Based on requests from female passengers, there will be the opportunity for women to request female drivers. Programs for elderly and minor passengers are also expected to be added in the first 12 months.
“There are many reasons Zoom Ride will thrive in the industry,” says Hashwi. “The uniqueness of our services and safety measures supersedes what is currently offered in the market. Zoom Ride will change local residents’ views of ridesharing and be a lifestyle choice for metro Detroiters in the future.”
Hashwi is a former benchmarking program manager for Ford Motor Co. and senior engineer at Magna International. He has also worked for Delphi Automotive and Visteon. Yasin is former head of Panasonic Qatar NAS Group and has served as manager at LG Electronics Levant and product manager for LG Electronics Saudi.