In the wake of nationwide strikes by rideshare workers demanding fair pay and improved treatment, a Phoenix-based disruptor, HUM Rideshare, has carved out a unique space for drivers that ensures they pocket the entirety of their hard-earned fares, turning them from participants into primary stakeholders.

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According to HUM Rideshare Founder Chris Kolb, the recent strikes shed light on the deteriorating conditions experienced by rideshare drivers. “Workers joined initially for flexibility, and they fell in love with their fare earnings in the early days. But both sides of the equation have been taken advantage of. Driver earnings have fallen over the years, while passenger fares have increased drastically. From 2019 to 2022 alone, passenger fares have gone up more than 80%,” Kolb says.

In response, drivers are not just demanding change; they’re seeking a meaningful voice while retaining the flexibility that drew them into gig work in the first place.

“So we decided to go right to the core of this, which is the rideshare driver, and rally around them with a business model that actually works in their favor. We decided that we’re going to become a user-centric rideshare company where drivers are placed at the core, and the best way to do that is create a unique model where drivers earn 100% of their fares,” Kolb says.

In contrast to the traditional commission-based system, HUM operates on a subscription model where drivers pay a flat-rate monthly fee. This approach, according to Kolb, not only ensures drivers are fairly compensated but also results in a more transparent and affordable experience for riders.

With beta pricing subscriptions ranging from $30 to $60 per month based on vehicle classification, drivers are finding HUM’s model economically viable. Kolb notes that drivers often recover their subscription costs in just one or two rides, highlighting the financial benefits they reap.

“Our drivers are so much more than drivers, they are ambassadors, they are advocates. We’ve gone out and recruited tons of rideshare drivers who are invested in this company quite literally, as well as emotionally and spiritually.” he continues. “From an earnings perspective, the response is great. We’ve had drivers earn up to $180 off six rides, which is incredible.”

To differentiate itself further, HUM has eliminated surge pricing, providing riders with consistent and affordable fares even during high-demand events. The company’s commitment to safety is also evident in its high female ridership, surpassing benchmarks for many other rideshare companies. HUM achieves this through stringent background checks, panic buttons, emergency contacts, and woman-to-woman transportation options.

Kolb highlights the unique characteristics of Phoenix that influenced HUM’s decision to establish roots in the city. Rapid growth, a thriving college market and a strong sense of community make it an ideal testing ground for HUM’s innovative rideshare model.

“Right now, our focus and attention is on a successful venture here in Phoenix, and growing up to be the Arizona option for rideshare. But we are certainly excited to start bringing this model into other markets,” Kolb says.

As HUM Rideshare prepares to make waves in the rideshare industry, Kolb provides a glimpse into a model that puts drivers firmly in the driver’s seat, steering towards a future where fair compensation, flexibility, and a positive experience define the rideshare landscape.