Cookeville company brings ridesharing with a twist Posted 7/17/19

Cookeville has service from Lyft and Uber, but a local rideshare company is bringing a new spin on the market.Drover, founded by Jeff Garland, launched on July 4 in Cookeville and gives people …

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Cookeville company brings ridesharing with a twist Posted

Cookeville has service from Lyft and Uber, but a local rideshare company is bringing a new spin on the market.

Drover, founded by Jeff Garland, launched on July 4 in Cookeville and gives people another option for ridesharing in town.

"It was in May 2016, that's when it became a corporation. We originally were starting it for Cookeville and other markets where Uber and Lyft weren't," Garland said. "I had a bunch of engineers from Tennessee Tech working with us and building the app. It didn't launch till July 4, so it took a little while."

Garland reached out to professors at Tech about working on the app and at the time, Uber and Lyft were not providing service in Cookeville.

However the company is a bit different than other rideshare companies in town. Drover donates a portion of its fees charged to users to local charities.

"Our cut is 70-30. 70 (percent) goes to the driver and 30 (percent) goes to the company Drover," Garland said. "Where the big difference is Drover Drive for Charity. Two percent goes to charity, taken from the Drover portion."

"Once a month, we'll go to one of these Tennessee-based charities, and we'll give them the money."

Garland said that Drover has partnered with charities including Soles4Souls, Interfaced Ministries, Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, DAV Cookeville, Feed America First, Bunker Labs and is sponsoring the Invention Convention.

"One of the things that I noticed was a former rider and driver for Uber and Lyft and they do great things. But one of the things I felt like they didn't do was come into communities and make an impact," Garland said. "I wanted to make an impact in the local communities and with the rideshare platform, I feel like it gives you the opportunity to do that."

The company also provides options for users to select traditional cars and hybrids or electric vehicles for their rides.

Drover currently has 17 drivers but ultimately hopes to employ 30 drivers in Cookeville. The app is available in app stores and can provide service on the phone through Drover Dispatch.

Garland said the company hopes to expand to 8,500 in Kentucky and Tennessee over the next two years.

For more information, visit www.droverrideshare.com.

Original Article

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