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Asheville Taxi Co. is offering a new ride share program to customers.

The company obtained its permit from the State of North Carolina to operate as a Transportation Network Company, or "Rideshare," like Uber and Lyft.

Passengers looking for a ride can hail drivers in their own private vehicles through a smartphone app, are taken to their destination of choice, and pay by credit card linked to their accounts. An official release from the company said the cabs had quickly become popular alternatives to traditional taxis and for hire car services "due to their convenience and efficient service."

The company shared a press release stating the following on Thursday:Owner Woodward McKee said “Its great to be able to offer such a flexible business model to both riders and drivers! It is a much more efficient way for us to operate and takes all the guesswork out of getting a ride! Asheville loves to support local businesses and we are delighted to provide a safe, friendly, convenient service.”

McKee emphasizes that their traditional service will continue to operate for passengers that prefer to call or text for a ride by calling or texting (828) 333-1976. The new service class, called “AVL Ride” is operating alongside Asheville Taxi, which has become a favorite local service in the four years since it was founded. Asheville Taxi also provides a number of community services such as delivering all food donations for the nonprofit Food Connection. AVL Taxi drivers have picked up tens of thousands of surplus meals from local restaurants and catered events and delivered the meals free of charge to local shelters who feed the hungry. They also provide free transportation to for people who need rides to 12 step meetings.

Traditional taxi services are hindered by a fixed number of cars, there is no way to provide the same service on a Saturday night as on a Tuesday morning with the same number of cars. The TNC model allows for instantaneously adding capacity during busy times and allows drivers to work whatever hours they choose.

If you would like to try the new service download the app from! If you are interested in driving there is a link to apply on the site.Copyright 2017 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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