A new app, which is being described as a “cooperative model,” is hoping to gain market share in New York City. Called Drivers Cooperative, the company is “owned by the people who use it… in this case, the drivers themselves,” according to founders Erik Forman, Alissa Orlando, and Ken Lewis.

Drivers on the app would still be independent contractors, Forman explained, but because they will own the platform, they will have more control over their working conditions, be able to elect the cooperative’s board, and enjoy a larger share of the profits, without executives or investors taking a cut.

“It is in fact a democratic organization,” Lewis said. “Drivers have expressed to us over and over that they feel alienated by the apps. They know they work with thousands of drivers, but they don’t meet them.”

Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance noted that “enlightened ridership” doesn’t currently exist and getting people to switch from Uber and Lyft will be an uphill battle.

“I think that’s a real disadvantage,” she explained. “[But that] doesn’t mean it’s impossible.”

The Drivers Cooperative is set to launch in early 2021. Since the company doesn’t have billions of dollars in capital at their disposal, they’re betting on guerrilla marketing, word of mouth, “and the drivers who will define the co-op’s future.”

Source: New York Magazine