Richmond company develops app for Uber/Lyft riders to pick their drivers

Richmond company develops app for Uber/Lyft riders to pick their drivers

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you take Uber or Lyft regularly, there's a new way you can now pick your favorite driver.

The UZURV app helps passengers and drivers feel safer, because you're always familiar with your ride. The Richmond-based company is now going national.

The app lets you request a ride in advance, even pick your driver. It helps build relationships and makes things more comfortable between driver and passenger.

"I had a reservation this morning," said Harrison Jones. "He's probably taken me about 12 times. It's kind of a regular Monday morning thing."

Jones drives for both Uber and Lyft. He's also been a test driver for the new UZURV app. He says the apps increased his bottom line, and it's really enhanced feelings of safety for both the customers and drivers.

"It sort of empowers the driver, and it helps the passenger to feel safer about things at the same time," said Jones.

UZURV was created in Richmond.

"UZURV is created for drivers, by drivers," said Matt Donlon, founder and CEO of UZURV.

His app is independent from Uber or Lyft, but Donlon says it's the perfect compliment.

"Think of it like open tables for restaurants. The idea is offline drivers in the area can look at a feed of reservation requests and decide whether or not that's in their best interest," said Donlon.

He runs UZURV out the historic Hoffheimer Building in Scott's Addition. Rooftop views show off a growing area of the city - inspiring his growing startup.

"We're dead set on being a Richmond and Virginia success story," said Donlon.

UZURV's now in 108 cities across the country. 15,000 drivers are now using it.

Donlon says the app is perfect for filling the void of suburban areas where Uber and Lyft currently struggle to catch on.

"Uber does great inside the dense areas, inside the city here," said Donlon. "I call this the dead zone - every market has it, that's not greatly served by demand."

He says his app fills the void, helps drivers find more rides and generates more customers for Uber and Lyft.

"With UZURV, you can meet your driver ahead of time and pick who you want and you feel more comfortable," said Jones. "Able to chat with them in the app, ask them questions."

There's a small fee for using UZURV to make reservations, and it's in both the Apple App Store and Google Play store, right now.

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