VANCOUVER -- Two start-ups scrambled to get their apps up and running this week as Metro Vancouver inched closer to a potential bus strike.

Lifttango is a carpooling app. It allows drivers and passengers to find each other without a bulletin board. Users can request immediate rides or book ahead.

But the service requires companies or schools to sign-up in order for their employees or students to use the system. Lifttango said this will create a sense of security.

“It’s quite hard to get into a stranger’s car,” said spokesperson Jacob Greig. “But if you know where they work, it makes it easier.”

U-Bicycle, not surprisingly, is a bike-share. It’s available in Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and Richmond.

The same company is also behind another car-pooling app, U-Pool. It’s available for students.

“It's only in the first stage of development, but we're going to launch at this time to help more people commute,” said spokesperson Grace Min.

The companies likely smelled an opportunity with looming job action. They can offer their service for free, while promoting their product.

“We would usually charge a subscription fee to organizations,” said Lifttango’s Greig. “But we're waving that because of the strike. It's pretty tough time for the city.”

There is a charge for U-Pool. But the company is offering a two dollar refund, with the timely coupon code: busstrike.