New Manchester-based ride-sharing app, Rydelinx

blog-image May 30, 2019

MANCHESTER, NH — For 15 years, Max Ahmad has operated Blue Sky Transportation, a high-end car service taking customers to Logan International Airport, weddings and nights out on the town.

Once Uber and Lyft started up, however, his business took a big hit and he lost clients.

“We decided we weren’t going to cry about it,” he said. “We’re going to do something about it.”

The company’s solution was to come up with an app that allows people to pick out their driver, the town car, SUV or limousine they want and at the price they are willing to pay.

A team to design the app was hired. He and his wife, Saverna Ahmad, a software engineer at Oracle in the Millyard, were involved in the process.

The result is Rydelinx, a downloadable app. Ahmad said the app is different from Uber or Lyft because the driver sets the price, based on miles and not time. Uber and Lyft, he said, set the price.

Rydelinx, according to Ahmad, puts the driver in control, not the company.

He said, for instance, if a driver has to drive to Boston to pick someone up at Logan International Airport, he can charge less if there is someone, at the same time, needing a ride to the airport.

Rydelinx charges drivers 18 percent of the fee.

According to a 2018 survey by Ridester, Uber takes more than 25 percent of trip earnings – which includes various fees. Uber sets trip costs and pays drivers for time plus miles, minus any fees.

On Tuesday, May 28, a reporter sought a car to take her from Auburn to Logan International Airport in Boston. Using the app, there were six drivers available, ranging in price from about $110 to $165. The $110 ride was in a Mercedes S650 while the $165 price was for a Lincoln Town Car. The same trip with Uber was $83.18 and for an Uber X – which is for a van or SUV – was $135.16.

Ahmad said the app can be used throughout the United States and Canada and that he already has 51 drivers.

The drivers are all independent contractors but cars used must be commercially insured for safety reasons, he said. All drivers are professionals who have undergone criminal background checks, according to Ahmad.

The app also allows riders to see the driver and the make, model, color and plate number of the car.