The new Ottawa-based, Uber-like app designed to help you get your driveway plowed is already getting an update.

TouchPlow allows people to order a professional snow plow operator on a per-occasion basis.

The idea proved so successful that the system was overwhelmed during Ottawa’s first major snow storm of the season. “It was obviously too big a storm, and not everybody could be dealt with properly in a timely manner,” concedes TouchPlow CEO, Ken Dale.

So Dale wants to try something new.

If a job isn’t claimed by a professional snow removal company within 8 hours of being posted, TouchPlow will open that job up to the public.

Dale calls them public providers. He says they must be over 21 and own a snow blower and a means to transport it. “We are personally going to interview them all and make sure they follow our standards,” he says.

He adds that only a limited number of public providers will be hired. And they will be confined to jobs a few kilometres from their homes, to prevent them from racing across the city.

Dale says he is currently in talks with insurance providers to come up with general liability coverage for the public hires.

TouchPlow is currently operating in 51 communities. For now it will test this new public aspect in just 2 of them, Edmonton and Ottawa.

Ken Dale says he plans to hold a job fair in Ottawa in mid-January. He hopes to have the test up and running by January 25th.