Uber, Lyft rival aims to treat customers like neighbors

Liberty Mobility Now, which operates in rural markets, wants to add a neighborly touch to small town ride-sharing.

Liberty Mobility Now

Liberty Mobility Now is a ride-sharing service aiming for a more neighborly feel.

Liberty Mobility Now

One startup wants to put more caring into ride-sharing, and unlike its name-brand rivals, it's targeting rural markets.

NPR's All Tech Considered profiled a company called Liberty Mobility Now, a ride-sharing service that fills in the gaps for smaller towns and counties where public transportation may be scarce or unavailable.

But unlike ride-hailing titans Uber and Lyft, Liberty Mobility Now drivers are expected to treat their customers with a more neighborly feel. Not only does the service offer an app, it also has a more traditional call center to handle ride-hailing requests with a more human touch.

NPR highlighted one such Liberty driver, Shelia Mendoza -- a woman whose self-proclaimed mission in life is to be a grandmother -- and the segment focused on the friendship she formed with one of her passengers who had lost his license, but still needed to get to work.

Currently, the company is operating in parts of Ohio, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas and South Dakota with rides costing a $1.25 to book and a $1 per mile.

However, Liberty Mobility Now isn't the only company that sees opportunity in shared public transportation for smaller towns and more rural areas. In April, town authorities in Innisfil, Ontario announced they had chosen Uber for their city's public transportation system, and the local government would be subsidizing rides for its citizens.

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