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Aug. 15, 2022

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After pandemic pause, RYD service returns to downtown Vancouver

By , Columbian Innovation Editor
Published:
5 Photos
Cole Wyckoff, one of the owners of RYD, pauses to pick up a passenger Monday. The service has expanded to anyone who needs a lift in downtown Vancouver.
Cole Wyckoff, one of the owners of RYD, pauses to pick up a passenger Monday. The service has expanded to anyone who needs a lift in downtown Vancouver. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A Vancouver-based transportation startup with a fleet of electric vehicles is operating again with new features after the pandemic caused it to temporarily halt operations.

RYD, also known as Rethink Your Drive, has launched an app that offers service to the general public. The app allows users to call a vehicle, navigate stops and select membership options, starting at $50 per month. In the coming months, the company will also introduce pay-per-rides and weekly passes. The app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

The business model is meant to address a growing parking issue in downtown Vancouver as density increases. RYD partners with owners of parking lots and with businesses to allow clients’ workers to park outside of the downtown core — then a RYD car will transport them to work and back.

Architect Casey Wyckoff, founder and co-owner, began the program in 2018 and has been growing the fleet ever since. The pandemic halted business while employees waited for in-office culture to return. During that time, RYD secured a $27,335 Payroll Protection Plan loan.

Wyckoff plans to grow the fleet from five green electric vehicles to as many as 20 by mid-2022.

“We originally developed RYD as an internal solution for our LSW Architects employees to explore downtown Vancouver. We quickly realized that there was an opportunity to expand the service to other businesses, and now to anyone in Vancouver,” Wyckoff said in a press release.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, drivers and riders are required to wear masks.

“RYD is currently working with a handful number of local businesses in Vancouver to offer RYD as an employee perk and transportation solution, moving their people around the urban core of Vancouver and making parking less of an issue in the busy areas surrounding many corporate offices,” wrote Shara Wokal, chief financial officer, in an email to The Columbian.

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