Coomappa Drivers Cooperative - Araraquara Brazil
= "taxi platform cooperative run by a drivers’ cooperative in Araraquara, a city in the state of São Paulo".
By Trebor Scholz:
"Lula stated that we must go beyond simply observing the unemployment situation, and that it is necessary to present proposals that can provide answers to questions about the contemporary world of work, frameworks that provide access to dignified work for all, regardless of gender, race, or social class. He demanded immediate help for these discontented gig workers, citing a lack of benefits and protections, as well as a lack of paid rest and vacation time, as well as insurance in the event of an accident or damage to their car, bike, or motorcycle.
Lula da Silva went on to say that while there has been much analysis of the new world of work and its ills, there have been few concrete, in-depth proposals. It’s easy to lament the loss of traditional jobs, he said, but it’s much more difficult to devise viable solutions that will create meaningful work in the rapidly changing digital economy.
Lula referred to a taxi platform cooperative run by a drivers’ cooperative in Araraquara, a city in the state of São Paulo with over 256,000 residents, as an example of a concrete alternative. Cooperatives and the solidarity economy have long been supported by the municipality, which also funds an incubator that helps social enterprises to get started, particularly cooperatives. The city’s warm climate and breathtaking sunsets earned it the moniker “the sun’s abode.” Araraquara may soon also become known for its platform cooperatives.
The cooperative of drivers behind this project is called Coomappa. It was founded with the help of City Hall in 2020 in an effort to assist drivers facing new challenges such as high fuel prices. The company behind the software that they are using is called Bibi Mob. With its app freely available for both Android and iOS, Bibi Mob is a socially-minded tech startup that franchises its mobility software across 67 cities. But its implementation in Araraquara, run by Coomappa, has been the most successful of them all. Why?
The app, socialized by the Coomappa co-op, allows anyone to become a taxi driver, motorcycle taxi driver, or food delivery courier. It offers a panic button feature that helps keep drivers safe. And with an option for women to request female drivers, the app is also looking out for the safety of all users. Fares start at R$2.50, about 0.50 US dollars. And with no surge pricing and low cancellation rates, it’s also one of the most reliable transportation options in Araraquara. It is changing the way people get around in the city.
Unlike traditional companies like Uber and the Brazilian taxi app 99, Coomappa only takes 5 percent of the revenue, with the rest going to the drivers. When it set up operations with Bibi Mob, the co-op insisted on 95 percent of the revenue going to the drivers and 5 percent going to the co-op. Bibi Mob agreed as it is financed through in-app advertisements. Drivers on the Coomappa-operated platform are making 40 percent more than they would on other platforms. Not only is this great for drivers, but it also helps to support the local economy in Araraquara. With most of the profit staying in the hands of drivers, it means that more money will be circulated within the community. The partnership between the co-op and the city government improves the life of many residents.
Drivers pay a monthly co-op membership fee of R$50, or about 10 US dollars. In return, Coomappa not only provides the digital platform, but it also gives discounts based on its close relationships with local businesses, allowing them access to cheaper car washes, gas stations, and car repairs. Coomappa also grants its drivers a variety of other benefits, such as insurance discounts and legal services."
- Cotabo, in Colombia, https://www.cotabo.it/