Experience a Difference in Designated Driving
Sisters Stacey Pruim and Lydia Flynn want you and your vehicle to get home safely after a night out. What’s more, they believe that experience should be safe, reliable, professional and even enjoyable—every time. Those beliefs drive (get it?) every aspect of their designated driver company, Drive My Ride.
Drive My Ride launched in 2016 as an alternative to what Stacey and Lydia felt was a limited market for designated driving services in Calgary. Lydia had spent nearly seven years working as a driver for one of the existing companies, and found that the longer she drove, the more stories she heard from unhappy customers who felt they had no alternative for getting home at the end of the night with their vehicles. She shared those stories with her sister, and eventually the two decided that they were going to be that alternative. Stacey packed her bags and left North Carolina to move back to Calgary and get Drive My Ride up and running.
Drive My Ride prides itself on its high level of professionalism and customer service. And for the company, that starts with hiring great drivers. Stacey and Lydia are extremely discerning in their hiring of new drivers; they’re looking for committed, team-oriented folks who are dedicated to delivering a great experience for their clients every time. When they arrive to pick up a client, they’re easily identifiable in their highly visible branded apparel. They’re approachable, friendly and professional - exactly the kind of person you’d want to trust behind the wheel of your own vehicle. In order to attract and retain that kind of employee, Stacey and Lydia knew they’d have to do things differently. They also knew that it would be important to recognize the sacrifices their employees made: working on nights, weekends and holidays, staying up late, and often dealing with challenging customers. To that end, all of Drive My Ride’s drivers are paid a guaranteed income, whether or not they get rides during their shift. It’s a key part of what sets Drive My Ride apart from the competition. By creating real jobs for their drivers, they are better able to retain high quality employees - something that can often be a challenge in today’s gig economy.
Although some might balk at the concept of starting a new business during a recession, Drive My Ride intentionally launched at the height of the downturn in 2016. That experience showed Stacey and Lydia that even in the worst economic times, their business would still be viable. More than that, it’s an important line of work that can truly save lives.
The Next Big Step
Drive My Ride is looking raise $100,000 through ATB LendR in order to improve their processes, marketing and cashflow. The business plans to:
Implement a dispatch web application that will better suit the business, as their current system is designed for taxis
Develop integrated mobile driver and client apps
Increase marketing efforts and awareness of the company
Ease cash flow issues that may arise when hiring new drivers