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How to upgrade the taxi line by sharing

That awful, winding taxi line at the airport or the hotel or the trade show. We don’t need to tell you how bad it can be.

But the line holds opportunity too. There are often many other folks in line who are going your way and who could split the fare with you. If only you could find them. 

When Bandwagon meets curb-side taxi lines at airports and hotels and events and conventions, people can seize that opportunity: by matching up with others going the same way—and skipping the whole line—Bandwagon users shorten not only their wait time, but that of other passengers and drivers, while cutting costs and congestion for everyone.

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With the HOP Lane—think an HOV lane for the taxi line—Bandwagon adds the incentive of a shorter wait time in addition to fewer dollars spent and fewer greenhouse gases emitted. In the process, Bandwagon moves the taxi line and taxis along faster too, reducing the “curb churn” that can plague an airport or event or hotel at busy times.

And all of this can make some people giddy. That’s what it did, for instance, in Las Vegas, at this year’s International CES, America’s biggest tech show.

We made a video about the taxi line upgrade at CES—it’s at the top of this blog post. Among the benefits of the HOP Lane at CES: over a thousand sharing passengers, over $18,000 and 250 hours saved, and over a thousand pounds of CO2 emissions avoided. 

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Our attention to sustainability earned us a nice affirmation at CES too: a panel of judges assembled by Verizon chose us from among over a thousand companies to receive one of the company's inaugural Powerful Answers Awards in sustainability.

If you’re not signed up, you can hop on now by getting the free app for iOS and Android. Wherever you’re going, anywhere in the world, you can use Bandwagon now to search for strangers going the same way. And heads up: in NYC you can use can also use Bandwagon to book a shared ride to the airport at a great price

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Thanks for Bandwagoning. Making transportation better wouldn’t be possible without all of you.

To learn more about how Bandwagon can be useful for your event, hotel or hub, visit our events page, or reach our team at hi@bandwagon.io. 

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.