A Fleet of Mini-Buses Resumes Service in Vancouver

The vibrant green cars can pick you up at specific Ryd stops when requested.

One sign of the degree to which the pandemic has eased in the Pacific Northwest can be seen across the Columbia River, where a fleet of electric cars offering group rides has resumed service.

Ryd, a six-car fleet of electric vehicles that operates in Vancouver, Wash., relaunched operations Nov. 15. Ryd, which stands for Rethink Your Drive, operates its cars similarly to buses: Its vibrant green cars can pick you up at specific Ryd stops when requested.

“[Our cars] can access parts of the community where buses have a hard time,” says Max Ault, chief strategy officer at Ryd. “[They] really can get people from their front door to where they need to go in an equitable and accessible manner.”

Ryd, whose cars have room for six passengers, aims to be an alternative to parking when Vancouver streets are full.

The company began in 2018 as a method of transportation for employees of LSW Architect, an architecture firm based in Vancouver. Other companies can now sign up for the service, and it has also opened operations to individuals for $50 a month. Users can sign up using the Ryd app.

Ryd ceased operations because of COVID-19. Before the pandemic struck, it had more than 250 users.

“We are in the process of ramping up for at least that amount moving into 2022,” says Ault, “but likely more.”

As well as expanding its consumer base in Vancouver, Ryd is looking to expand where it operates, including in Portland.

“[Portland] is our neighbor, part of the same metro region, same broader community,” says Ault. “It would be great to have Ryd offering both in Vancouver and Portland, serving the community.”