Two young Vincentian men recently pooled their own resources to invest in their vision of 21st century transportation services here.
The BeamX rideshare service is set to revolutionize both access to and the availability of a ride, when needed.
The service was launched on July 10, 2020 and is accessible via its own mobile application which allows commuters to connect directly with available drivers any hour of the day or night.
Ideally users book a ride that would “meet you at your location and carry you to the destination of your choice” whether the user is alone or sharing the ride with others.
The service is meant to be an affordable alternative to local taxi fares even as it aims to satisfy commuters who may not have access to public transportation for whatever reason. Therefore the number of persons sharing the ride does not impact the price. Although the entrepreneurs warn that insured passenger loads would be observed.
“I cannot say that BeamX Ridshare is or isn’t cheaper than regular taxi services. In some cases the prices may be less and other cases more but not by much.
There is a base fare and additional charges for every kilometer, so the longer the ride the more money it would cost.
“However, the cost of a ride is something that we would continue to monitor overtime because we want the service to be as affordable as possible but at the same time not ridiculously low,” marketing director and co-founder Romain David told us.
To participate, drivers and commuters must sign up using the software which is easily found in both the App Store and Google Play Store. Although statutory limitations currently prohibit “owners of Private vehicles to accept cash,” the vision is to be able to offer employment opportunities to anyone with a valid Vincentian driver’s license and a registered and properly insured vehicle that they own.
“We would work on this [limitation] because one of the main goals when we created the app was to allow vehicle owners who are unemployed, self-employed (or even though you’re employed) to make extra cash. We are all about creating employment and giving excellent service.
“Most of these people do not have H vehicles and don’t necessarily want to go into the “taxi” business. So, we’re looking to negotiate with the relevant government authorities to see if that ban can be lifted – just for BeamX drivers – that would be good. But in the meantime, we are limited to using only H drivers,” according to David, the 23 years old entrepreneur.
David, like his 24 years old associate, was born and bred in the Mesopotamia Valley and still reside there today. Both youngsters are graduates of the local A’Level College. Additionally they both boast University of the West Indies degrees in albeit in different fields.
Cognizant that commuter safety is paramount, BeamX was set up so that all users could share their publicly held information in-app. “So that is where we come in to protect the users by making sure that the vehicle number plate is valid, the driver’s picture is shown when they accept the booking and their vehicle is insured.
“The driver’s phone number, vehicle registration number and profile picture is disclosed. But that only happens if the driver accepts the job.
“Before any rider enters a vehicle, they must verify that the vehicle they are getting into is the one they see on the BeamX platform and that the driver matches their profile picture. Likewise, every driver need to verify that the person they are picking up is the one who booked the ride,” David said.
Additionally “Our safety system is in place and the authorities can be contacted with a tap of a button.”
Commuters may pay for their BeamX service via the Payswif digital wallet platform or using hard currency if available.
To help reign in the costs per ride, the developers are engendering a policy that would ensure, “that the driver who is closest to the commuter gets first preference so if they don’t accept the ride, the booking request would go to the next person.
“For example: if you’re living in Spring Village (NL) and the only driver available is in Kingstown. It would be unreasonable (and very costly) for that driver to drive to Spring Village and then back to town. On the flip side, if there’s a driver in Gordon Yard it would be much easier for them to accept that ride.”
This first phase of promotion and marketing would be geared towards helping drivers and commuters be better acquainted with the service as well as the ins and outs of the BeamX mobile application.