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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Lehigh Valley rideshare app may soon provide free services to locals

Photo by Samuel Jackson for The Lafayette
The company plans to expand nationwide, according to CEO and founder Rudy Ferraz.

Need a lift? Preferably, for free? Pending approval, the app would offer free rides for Lehigh Valley residents.

The app will be funded by advertisements played on the consumer’s phone during the ride and allowing the service to remain free for riders.

“You have the option of paying for the ride or watching a couple of ads on your phone while we drop you off,” CEO and founder Rudy Ferraz said. “We show up to seven ads, or up to 10 ads, depending on the length of the ride.”

Ferraz used his experience as a rideshare driver for Uber and Lyft to guide him in developing FURE. He has been working on developing the app for five years. During that time, he surveyed both riders and drivers about what they would like to see fixed or improved in a new rideshare app.

“I made a list and then resolved a lot of those issues that Uber and Lyft are having, then incorporated it into what we’re doing,” Ferraz said.

These changes include a dashboard setup with a camera to prevent assaults, individual vehicle identification numbers and larger placards to help riders easily identify cars as FURE vehicles.

FURE would be the first free rideshare app available to the general public in the Lehigh Valley area. Freebee, one of the only existing ad-funded rideshare apps, operates out of Florida. Options for free rideshares in the Lehigh Valley are currently limited to rides offered by nonprofits to specific interest groups.

Ferraz hosted a business reveal tent in Easton Center Square on April 20.

An early look at the FURE app on a phone. (Photo courtesy of The Morning Call)

Camille Voo ’26, an Easton resident, said she was excited about how a free rideshare app could impact the Lafayette community.

“I would use the app, because gas is so expensive nowadays,” Voo said. “Lafayette students will definitely use this app to go out, so they don’t really have to worry about the cost.”

Voo noted that “there’s a lack of transportation in the West Ward area, where there’s a food desert.” She believes that a free rideshare app like FURE could help with this problem.

FURE offered ride demonstrations from April 21 to 25 to test-run the service.

“For now, on the beta, we’re only going to do 10 minutes, 10 miles,” Ferraz said. “And then after the beta, we’re going to do up to 25 to 30 minutes.”

Moving forward, FURE plans to bring free ride share to Philadelphia in addition to the Lehigh Valley for public beta testing this summer. Once it moves statewide in Pennsylvania, the company plans to move to major cities nationwide, including Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and Austin.

“We expect to be [nationwide] by the end of 2025/early 2026,” Ferraz wrote in a follow-up email.

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About the Contributors
Makenna McCall
Makenna McCall, Staff News Writer
Tall, left-handed and stupid.
Samuel Jackson
Samuel Jackson, Staff Photographer

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    Christopher WatkinsMay 3, 2024 at 7:52 pm

    I drove for Uber in Philadelphia while pursuing acting. Uber would send me to pick up blind people and I always did it, as well as other peoples with special accommodations, and elderly in a special program they had where I would be called beforehand, I never denied them. I even was instructed to go into an elderly couple’s house to assist them out and did that for them with them wanting me to. Despite that I want to expose the injustices experienced I experienced with Uber. From assaults to dangers, negligence and trauma have been constant. I seek compensation and real change. – Christopher Watkins

    Watkins v. Uber Technologies, Inc., Case No. CGC23605657
    Christopher Watkins v. Raiser, LLC Case No. CGC23605659