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Richard N. Velotta

Las Vegas' newest ride-hailing company will also deliver meals, packages

28 October 2015

One of the fastest startup companies in the nation is poised to become Southern Nevada's third ride-hailing company.

One of the company's co-founders, chief experience officer Jonathan Laramy, said Get Me, which plans to launch in Las Vegas on Nov. 12, will offer a twist — not only will drivers shuttle passengers around the valley, but they'll also deliver meals, packages, groceries and medicine for a fee.

The company began recruiting drivers, to be known as Go-Getters, on Monday.

The Dallas-based company launched operations there in August. It added Houston and Austin, Texas, and will complete Las Vegas and San Antonio openings, all within 90 days. Executives say they'll go international in February.

The Las Vegas operation is expected to be considerably smaller than its Uber and Lyft counterparts — only 60 drivers are expected to be hired initially, compared with thousands by the larger companies. Companywide, Get Me has only six employees, but a Las Vegas director is expected to be hired within a month.

For customers, the Get Me app is available for free on Apple and Android platform stores. Prospective customers must fill out contact and credit card information that will be securely stored.

The process works similarly to ride-hailing apps produced by Uber and Lyft, with customers requesting a ride or delivery, getting a price estimate, a photo of the contracted driver and a pickup time, followed later by the emailing of a receipt. The Get Me app also incorporates the ability for a customer to tip the driver.

Laramy said he and Derek Dunlop, Get Me's project director, completed the necessary paperwork and documentation with the Nevada Transportation Authority for state licensing. The authority board, which meets Thursday, won't consider the company's licensing at that session. As a result, Laramy indicated the company would begin its delivery service on Nov. 12 and await final approval from regulators before transporting passengers.

"We're different from other ride-sharing services because we strongly believe that our contracted drivers are our greatest resource," Laramy said in an interview Tuesday. "We believe that drivers are entitled to a decent, working wage."

Contracted drivers will be paid 80 percent of the fare or delivery charge with 20 percent going to the company.

Laramy said unlike conventional transportation network drivers, Get Me contractors won't have to cruise the streets awaiting hails for rides. In fact, they'll be able to park at home and peruse prospective delivery jobs and potentially make more money doing that than transporting passengers.

When Laramy and Dunlop started the Dallas operation, they anticipated a split of about 80 percent of fares to be passenger transports and 20 percent deliveries. In the early going of the operation, the split is closer to 65 percent deliveries.

Prospective drivers can fill out basic application information online, then complete the process with "onboarding" meetings at the company's local office at 6166 S. Sandhill Road, Suite 116.

Because some Get Me drivers will focus primarily on deliveries instead of passenger transports, the vehicle requirements are different from traditional ride-hail companies. Laramy said some drivers use older-model pickups to haul larger materials. The company makes a determination whether a vehicle is sufficient for passenger travel or if a driver would work exclusively on deliveries.

Laramy also plans a major philanthropic push as the company launches prior to the holidays. Get Me will set up a network of Go Givers that will transport food and clothing donations from restaurants or companies to shelters and charitable causes.

Laramy views the program as giving back to the community, and when drivers make charitable runs, they'll be paid for providing the ride — unless, they, too, want to donate to the cause.