New ride-hailing app allowing passengers to negotiate fares comes to D.C.

Media Credit: Maansi Srivastava | Photographer

Bid2Ride allows commuters to haggle for ride-hailing prices.

Updated: September 27, 2019 at 11:18 a.m.

District residents now have access to a new ride-hailing app that lets riders negotiate what they pay drivers.

Bid2Ride, an app launched last week in the District, lets riders enter a destination and submit a “bid” while receiving prices for the same ride from comparable apps and allows drivers to see the destination, how much money they will make from the ride and the ride’s length before choosing to accept or reject the bid. The service saved riders 25 to 35 percent off per ride on average in the app’s testing phase, said Jahan Hakimi, Bid2Ride’s founder and CEO, in an email.

To use the app, riders select their destination and are presented with a suggested bid that is likely to be accepted when requesting rides, Hakimi said. Riders then can increase or decrease the bid amount before submitting the bid to drivers, he said.

“If the real-time average ride rate is listed between $35 and $42, the algorithm will likely suggest $26,” Hakimi said. “The lower you go, the lower the probability of acceptance.”

Hakimi said Bid2Ride plans to announce its availability in the next wave of cities in the next few months. He said the service chose to launch in D.C. because the District is a sprawling metropolitan site, and riders save the most when they use the app for longer journeys.

If drivers do not accept a bid, riders are directed to the Bid2Ride aggregator, which lists the real-time rates of other ride-hailing apps for the destination they have chosen. Riders can compare rates of other ride-hailing apps and select the lowest price, according to the website.

“The average bid can take up to 45 seconds to be accepted by drivers,” Hakimi said. “But we have noticed drivers accepting bids much quicker normally within 15 to 25 seconds.”

Bid2Ride is currently offering all new riders a $15 discount on their first ride and plans to further attract riders through a series of partnerships with local D.C. events and “aggressive” social media and digital marketing campaigns, Hakimi said.

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