rideshare

Cut CO2 w/Taxisharing!

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Since May, Bandwagon riders have saved 8,170 pounds of CO2 by taxisharing from LaGuardia Airport. And every match saves about 8.5 gallons of fuel.

We’re doing our part behind the scenes also: Bandwagon’s proposal for a citywide taxishare pilot is now in the hands of Mayor de Blasio’s office, the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, and major stakeholders in the taxi industry. We want to make it easier to share taxis throughout New York City—during rush hour, shift change, from MSG or Central Park during the next papal visit? The possibilities for taxisharing abound.

Meanwhile, Bandwagon users are continuing to draw the attention of the media, who have called the service a valuable addition to the taxi ecosystem, and one that supports licensed drivers. Here’s CNN’s Samuel Burke’s recent visit to LaGuardia, and Fortune Live, where our CEO David Mahfouda and our friend Daniel Ramot of Via discussed behavior change to reduce congestion.

Bandwagon launches partnership with United Airlines' Eco-Skies

Sharing taxis and rides from the airport is among our users’ favorite ways to move with Bandwagon. It can cut the cost of a ride home in half. And given the crush of people and cars often going the same way, snaking a path back to the city, sharing rides helps reduce wait times, speeds up traffic, and cuts pollution.

That’s why we’re proud to announce a new partnership with United Airlines’ Eco-Skies program, to bring Bandwagon to even more travelers at one of the largest airport terminals in the country, United’s Terminal C at Newark International Airport. The program will be the first such digital real-time ridesharing program at any airport in the U.S.

By sharing a ride with Bandwagon, arriving United customers can save up to 60 percent of the cost of a typical car service. They’ll be helping the planet too: the program could save over 42,000 gallons of gasoline and 80,000 pounds of CO2 emissions over the next 12 months.

To rideshare at United’s Newark Terminal C, all you have to do is enter your destination in the Bandwagon app. As Bandwagon’s state-of-the-art Ridebatch Server looks for the most convenient match, rides appear on a number of responsive displays throughout United’s Terminal C baggage claim area.

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“Think of it as a tech-savvy way to shout out to everyone in baggage claim looking for shared car service,” says Bandwagon Art Director Brendan Dalton. When the Ridebatch Server finds you a convenient match, its easy to meet at a designated Rideshare Meetup spot within the terminal. You can then book a car service directly through Bandwagon and split the fare digitally.

Jigar Shah, author of Creating Climate Wealth and a Bandwagon user, is enthusiastic about the program.

“I travel to and from Newark often, so the costs add up. United’s Eco-Skies Bandwagon program isn’t just a win for the environment: it also makes it a lot easier and inexpensive for me to fly United.”

Joe Sitt, Founder and Chairman of the Global Gateway Alliance, an industry group campaigning for improvements to area airports, also applauds the partnership. “This partnership between Bandwagon and United is a great step in utilizing 21st century technology to improve transportation to and from New York and New Jersey airports, to make rides more efficient and affordable, and to bring us closer to the amenities offered by the world class airports that we compete with.”

While Bandwagon can be used anywhere to find a ride partner—and in New York City, a ride—we also design and build digital real-time ridesharing systems with transportation hubs, large events, and companies in mind. In addition to the system installed at Newark, Bandwagon also offers the Hop Lane, a system for matching riders who are already waiting on taxi lines. Bandwagon debuted this time-, cost- and carbon-saving system at the International CES 2014 in Las Vegas, and has since brought it to other events and convention centers.

In January, we’re bringing the Hop system back to Las Vegas to help alleviate the crunch of curb-side congestion, and get visitors to their destination in a way that’s speedy and social.

Bandwagon and RideScout: making it easier than ever to rideshare

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To make sharing a ride even more of a snap, Bandwagon is linking up with our friends at RideScout, the super cool app that gives users nearby transportation options, as it delves deeper into the world of ridesharing

From the app’s wide range of transit choices, RideScout users can now search for a Bandwagon shared ride in NYC—and soon, in more of the dozens of cities covered by RideScout. We’re excited to be integrating into RideScout alongside Carma, the carpooling app that’s bringing commuters together for shared rides in cities around the US and Europe. 

Making it easier to find a match anywhere

Wherever you are and wherever you’re going, Bandwagon can help you connect with someone nearby who is going your way so you can split the cost of any ride. At crowded places, Bandwagon can be especially useful, providing instant transportation solutions curb-side at airports and events and hubs

As ridesharing grows in popularity, Bandwagon is committed to building an open model, one that can match riders going the same way and give them access to a range of options. We’re all about real ridesharing—splitting the costs of a ride with another passenger—and we’re proud to collaborate with RideScout, which shares our vision of providing transportation options that are open, affordable and good for our cities. 

Growing our fleet in New York without adding new vehicles to the road

As demand for scheduled shared rides to and from airports and other places in New York City continues to grow, Bandwagon is committed to providing quality and reliable service while making better use of existing taxis and vehicles, rather than adding more to the streets. 

That’s why we’re rapidly growing our network of cars and drivers by working with local car services—we recently welcomed an additional 300 cars into our NYC fleet

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The power to see empty seats

An amazing number of seats in cars remain empty, while the cars that contain them leave a heavy mark on our wallets and our roads. 

We can use those seats. Giving people the power to make better use of that underutilized resource —and get where they’re going faster and cheaper—is an important tool for making our transportation more accessible and affordable and efficient. And it helps make the places we live better too. We’re committed to that idea, and we are proud to share RideScout’s vision for the future of transit: one in which we move better when we move together.

To Make Sharing Easier: Introducing Hubs and HOP Lanes

To make sharing a ride even easier, we’re adding some new points of interest to the map in your Bandwagon application—places where other passengers are likely to be traveling to and from.

We call them Hubs and HOP Lanes.

Hubs: Are designated hot spots where there are a high volume of people gathered and potentially looking for rides. A likely place to find a match.

HOP Lanes: HOP means High Occupancy Passenger—or just ‘hop.’ These are zones we establish for passengers who are already waiting in places with long, congested taxi lines.

Passengers in HOP Lanes can use Bandwagon to identify other people who are heading their way and get priority access to departing vehicles. Much like in a HOV lane on the highway, matched passengers get to go ahead and “HOP” the line.

And if you’d like to create a Hub or install a HOP Lane at your event or place of business, see bandwagon.io/events or email Mark, our director of Business Development, at mark.harrison@bandwagon.io.

Check it out now—and start sharing (more).

—Nadia

The value of connecting with people who are going the same way

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A few months ago, a group of researchers at MIT’s SENSEable City lab analyzed a year’s worth of NYC taxi rides—170 million trips—and found something fascinating: by tracing the routes of thousands of cabs, they surmised that nearly 80 percent of those trips could have been shared. That is assuming that passengers were willing to share (and, similarly, that there was a good way to connect them), and willing to travel no more than three minutes out of their way.

Just think about it, they said: if even a small fraction of those potential shared rides were shared, we could make a significant impact on the city’s congestion and pollution, which are dead weights on any city’s prosperity.

A visualization like this elaborates one of the promises of analyzing “big data” sets. If we can see the world’s invisible lines, we might also begin to shift our thinking about how we exist in the world and how we move around it.

Unlike regular vehicles, taxis are already designed as shared spaces. But, the research implied, they could be shared even better. “How might entertaining these questions be the first step in building a more efficient and cheaper taxi service?” they asked.

We’re building an answer at Bandwagon, matching riders throughout the five boroughs who are going the same way at the same time. You can use the app to dispatch a licensed taxi and find a passenger match in NYC; elsewhere, you can use Bandwagon in addition to existing taxi services, sharing a ride with another rider going your direction.

Every ride is a potential Bandwagon, open to other members nearby. Your ride is proportional to the cost of your seat, not the entire car. Your environmental footprint is closer to your size, too.

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This doesn’t just contribute to the well-being of existing taxi users and to the city as a whole. A shared taxi system might accommodate people who might be underserved by public transit, filling in transportation gaps without adding cars to the road while cutting the costs of vehicle transportation. 

Throughout the summer in New York, Bandwagon is offering special offers to new and existing users, especially at times and places where we think matches are likely. Sign up with the code MATCH to get $10 credit for use all summer long. And look for guaranteed discounts to all NYC airports on Thursdays and Fridays, and from NYC airports on Sundays. 

We’re also helping match riders in places where they tend to congregate—airports, transportation hubs, events, and companies—to cut long taxi lines and make shared transportation seamless and efficient. You can see more about that aspect of Bandwagon at bandwagon.io/events.

In future releases, we will be better demonstrating the potential for rideshares with people who are near you. For now, to get a sense of the shares waiting to be made, play around with HubCab here: hubcab.org. You can chart your regular transit routes, see how many others might be going your way, and calculate the savings in fares and carbon dioxide that come with real ridesharing.

What happened in Vegas

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Last week, Bandwagon was at International CES in Las Vegas with a mission: to relieve the stress of the taxi lines on attendees of the world’s biggest consumer technology conference and to relieve the stress on the city’s roads too. There was also a nice bonus: a panel of judges assembled by Verizon chose us from among over a thousand companies to receive one of their inaugural Powerful Answers Awards in sustainability. We’re in great company.

We’ll use the award of $700,000 to continue to build our network of riders and drivers, and to bring the future of urban ridesharing to more places beyond our bases of operations in New York, at LaGuardia Airport, and in Montreal. 

If you know somewhere in particular that could use some Bandwagon in its transportation life, drop us a line at hi at bandwagon dot io.

Cheers,

Alex, David, and your friends at Bandwagon

"Slugging": D.C.'s old-fashioned ride-sharing system

In Washington, D.C., commuters don’t just rely on private cars or trains. They can also go “slugging” - also known as casual carpooling or dynamic ride-sharing.

The Washington Post writes about Dave LeBlanc, a defense contractor, who runs D.C.‘s only slugging Web site, Slug-Lines.com, a community forum dedicated to those who take, or offer, free rides for commuters traveling by car to and from Washington’s outer suburbs to Crystal City, Rosslyn, the Pentagon and the District. It describes itself as “not a government sponsored commuter program, but one created out of ingenuity from local citizens to solve commuter problems.”

Slugging is a Washington-area tradition dating back to the mid-1970s, when high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes were constructed on interstates 95 and 395 to combat soaring gas prices. For decades, only one formal slugging location was used - in Springfield, next to Bob’s Big Boy restaurant at Bland Street and Old Keene Mill Road. But as traffic worsened across Northern Virginia, so too did the number of slugging locations. Today, there are at least 18 slug routes in the Virginia suburbs, serving thousands of daily commuters.

Slug line systems have also cropped up in traffic-clogged sections of Dallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco. A July symposium in Arlington County looked at ways to expand slugging in the D.C. area, and federal transportation officials are studying the phenomenon to see if pilot projects in other cities could help alleviate congestion. 

 

The HOV lanes that gave rise to slugging were a direct result of the Arab oil crisis. Governments realized they could reduce gasoline consumption and improve the environment at the same time. For sluggers, who exchange no money while sharing rides, the practice is a win-win: drivers can get where they’re going faster, commuters get a free ride.

The term itself derives from the way that prospective ride-sharers would often confuse bus drivers, who would sometimes stop for them thinking they wanted a bus ride. “Slug” was a term used for counterfeit coins, but the drivers began applying the term to the ride-sharers, who weren’t bus riders or even “real” car poolers in the usual sense of the word.

It’s awesome what communities can do to improve transit on their own, even without smart phones. How much could the addition of phones or other technologies help an established network like this one? 

photo: flickr/DAN_DC

Daimler Gets Into Carpooling

 

The largest German automaker is launching a pilot carpooling project in their home country that, in the style of services like Zimride and Weeels, combines ride sharing with social media. From Wired:

Called car2gether, the service is an outgrowth of of Daimler’s car2go Smart-sharing program and, according to the company, answers the question of “how flexible and independent mobility can be achieved without car ownership.”

Car2gether matches up carpooling mates, replacing upturned thumbs and notes pinned to a corkboard with online profiles and smartphone software. All users must register and post a photo along with other personal information that we hope includes whether they plan on eating an egg salad sandwich while in the car.

Users enter details about upcoming journeys using a smartphone or PC and let the car2gether software make a match. Should users want to connect on their own, the software automatically posts details of ride offers and requests on a microblogging site similar to Twitter. 

For now, use of the software comes at no charge but like car2go, the new service requires passengers to pay for travel time — a suggested charge of 9.5 cents per minute to reimburse the driver for vehicle maintenance, gas and time spent cleaning that spilled Starbucks latte off the passenger-side floor mat. At first, passengers will pay drivers in cash but as the pilot progresses Daimler will debut an automated, cashless payment program.

It should be exciting to watch how this service (and its cashless payment system). Car2gether, which launches September 18th, is certainly starting with the right kind of real world network: in the German city of Ulm, a university town where students are both tech-savvy and in need of cheap transportation. Other cities may be on the way.