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IIZI: The New Black Woman-Owned Rideshare Company Getting Rid Of Surge Pricing
There’s a new Black-owned rideshare on the horizon, and it is based out of North Carolina!
Lynn Graham will never forget that time when a Lyft driver picked up her husband during a snow storm in Denver, Colorado, and decided she didn’t want to drive to his location after picking him up.
“She dropped him off with his luggage and I just remember a fire building up inside,” she told Travel Noire.
That experience was one of many frustrations she had with platforms such as Uber and Lyft and is what fueled her to create her own. Graham created IIZI (pronounced “easy”), a new Black-owned rideshare company that aims to make the experience easy and seamless for drivers and passengers.
“I remember the first time I tried Uber and I thought, ‘this is just too complicated.’ Then Lyft came and I thought it was pretty cool but what I’m finding now is that it’s becoming hard to find reliable drivers.”
From her research, she found that part of the reason is because drivers feel unappreciated.
“There seems to be a disconnect with how other platforms treat their drivers. Many drivers feel undervalued and many platforms are customer-based.”
And while a good and safe experience for passengers is a priority, Graham says IIZI will also focus on the drivers experience as well.
“Uber is taking 25 percent of the driver’s income to keep the platform running, but we’re only going to take 15 percent so drivers can keep most of their income,” she said. “Our drivers will have access to our benefits portal, including wellness programs, dental, and supplemental benefits, which we found are key to drivers during our research.
She adds that gone are the days where you have to get a hold of corporate through the app. IIZI will provide customer service for riders who want to reach out to a live person.
The announcement of IIZI comes amid the criticism companies such as Lyft and Uber have faced for how their algorithms have appeared to discriminate against people of color. A study commissioned in 2016 found a pattern of racial and gender discrimination among drivers for Uber, Lyft, and Flywheel. Male customers with perceived African American names were more than twice as likely to have drivers cancel their rides compared to white passengers. The study also found that it was no different for women, as Travel Noire previously reported.
In a different study from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., researchers found Uber and Lyft algorithms also discriminate against riders in predominantly non-white neighborhoods by charging riders more.
“That’s a big no and will not be happening on our watch,” said Graham. “We have a nondiscrimination disclosure that drivers will have to sign.”
Another thing you won’t see with IIZI: surge pricing.
“We will not have surge pricing where at certain times of day, the price goes by 100-percent of the cost of the ride or more. That’s ridiculous and has always been a red flag for customers.”
Graham says the Black-owned rideshare will launch this fall in North Carolina first, but she has plans to roll out the platform nationwide. Her team is currently looking for drivers and a background check is required.
Find our more information about how to apply or more about the rideshare platform by clicking here.