When it comes to rideshare in Minneapolis, Uber and Lyft are no longer the only game in town.

Two companies — MyWeels and Wridz — started ferrying riders this month, coming online after the two rideshare giants threatened to leave Minneapolis and possibly the state if an ordinance substantially raising driver pay went into effect.

Last week, Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation overriding the Minneapolis ordinance and setting statewide pay rates for rideshare drivers. That led Uber and Lyft to reverse course and stay in the market. But will the new arrivals do the same?

"We are here to stay," said Elam Baer, MyWeels founder and CEO of Eden Prairie-based North Central Equity.

MyWeels started service May 2 in Minneapolis after plunking down about $37,000 to get its license. The company was recently licensed to serve Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and should soon be getting permission to operate in St. Paul now that the City Council has approved its license, which cost Baer another $41,000.

Baer acknowledged that MyWeels will be a small player in the local rideshare business, but he thinks his preferred driver program will help win over customers. Under the arrangement, riders can request a certain driver anytime they book. If that driver is available, the driver gets first right of acceptance before the customer's request is shared with other drivers on the platform, Baer said.

That could be an appealing feature for many, offering consistency for elderly passengers and among parents who have kids using rideshare. And it allows drivers to lock themselves in as a primary driver, Baer said.

With more drivers than customers at present, Baer said that having a preferred driver could help MyWeels' ridership "take off, and quickly."

Wridz founder and CEO Steve Wright said his company isn't going anywhere, either. Wridz is licensed in Minneapolis and has applications pending in St. Paul and at MSP airport.

"We operate in 22 other markets and in nine other states that Uber and Lyft are in as well," Wright said. "We feel we have a better option for drivers. Drivers deserve respect and shouldn't have had to fight and go through this ordeal, to get what they deserve."

Wridz's model is different from that of other companies. Drivers pay a $100 subscription fee per month, then keep 100% of fares collected rather than being paid on commission.

The new state law sets rates of $1.28 per mile and 31 cents per minute when a rider is in the car. That's lower than what drivers pushed for, but it will still result in a pay raise of about 20% when the rates kick in Dec. 1.

The chaotic way the debate played out is behind the local start-up MOOV. Founder Murid Amini of Woodbury said he watched intently as drivers pushed for better pay and the fallout that ensued. That's when he said he needed to create his own company.

Backed with financing from a capital investment firm, Amini said he is moving forward. He is in the process of obtaining licenses from Minneapolis, St. Paul and MSP airport. He has 580 drivers who have given him permission to conduct background checks, and says he's getting requests to bring his service to Rochester, Duluth and other parts of Minnesota.

"I am on a mission to level the playing field for the rideshare industry," Amini said. By paying a livable wage, he said, "We want to make it such a winning experience for the driver and rider that they will want to ride with us. We will try to get as much of the market share and hope we beat Uber and Lyft."

Minnesota this year became the seventh state for Carepool. The Madison, Wis.-based company bought Mobility 4 All and specializes in rideshare services for aging adults and those with disabilities.

"We bring the wheelchair-accessible piece," said CEO Josh Massey. "It's more than just curb to curb. We help people get home. We provide more assistance that's medically specific."

While riders and drivers now have more options, weaning them off the tried-and-true Uber and Lyft operations could be tough. Ricky Kemonou Jr., who drives for Uber and Lyft, also signed up with Wridz. The first month with Wridz has been very slow, he said, and he worries that he won't make enough to cover his $100 monthly subscription fee and make a profit.

"I have it on all day and I barely get an offer. Nobody is using it," he said. He added that he tells his Uber and Lyft customers about Wridz, but that "people don't want to try anything new."

One company, Joiryde, had inquired about entering the Minneapolis market but will now stay away. David Linhardt, a spokesman for the North Carolina-based company, said license fees and insurance were far more costly here than in other places in the United States.

"The environment is not conducive to us operating and trying to make a buck and help people out," he said, though the company has an application pending in Minneapolis . "Given how things have evolved in the Twin Cities, we are going to sit this out for now."

Baer is unfazed by the growing options and competition.

"Rideshare is my transportation and the only way I get around," he said. "The more the merrier."