sharing,

Bandwagon airport taxishare featured on CNN and NBC


In a recent profile of taxi alternatives, CNN technology correspondent Samuel Burke caught up with CEO David Mahfouda and a few Bandwagon riders at LaGuardia Airport, where Bandwagon’s app and rideshare technicians match together passengers on the taxi line who are going the same way. Bandwagon riders save up to 40%, and are given priority access to NYC taxi cabs, speeding up the line for everybody.

And in a segment last month for our hometown NBC affiliate, reporter Lynda Baquero spoke to David and profiled Bandwagon’s LaGuardia Airport service.

Happy New Year, Happy CES!

Over the weekend, Bandwagon said goodbye to the Urban Future Lab for a few days and said hello to Las Vegas. The entire team is here for International CES 2015, the world’s biggest technology show, which runs until Friday. We couldn’t be more excited to help Bandwagoners find rideshares, help the environment, and save their money and time for everything Vegas has to offer.

At CES, a friend with Bandwagon is a friend indeed

If you were worried about the famously long cab queues at the Las Vegas Convention Center, fear no more. Find someone to share your cab with using the Bandwagon app, and hop, skip, or jump your way to the front of the line. For the second year, we are proud to be working with CES to give priority taxi access to users who find matches with Bandwagon.

Bandwagon is also at hotels and the airport

At McCarran Airport and at hotel taxi lines across the city, you can also use Bandwagon to find others going your way.

The more the merrier (and the share-ier)

Let people know you’re on Bandwagon using Twitter or Facebook with the hashtags #HopOn #CES2015, and encourage others to join. You can always invite friends by clicking “Invite Friends” in the app’s main menu—and look for a referral credit there too, which can be used toward rides in cities where we work directly with taxis.

Happy New Year and happy CES from all of us here at Team Bandwagon!

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. 

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

Hailing a taxi is being disrupted by technology and sharing. To help you (and us!) navigate the various options for a ride—and differentiate ridesharing from ride selling —Nyron and Florencia made a handy map of the various Transportation Network Companies and what they offer. 
  Read more about    where we fit into that picture and our thoughts about taxis and the sharing economy  .

Hailing a taxi is being disrupted by technology and sharing. To help you (and us!) navigate the various options for a ride—and differentiate ridesharing from rideselling—Nyron and Florencia made a handy map of the various Transportation Network Companies and what they offer.

Read more about where we fit into that picture and our thoughts about taxis and the sharing economy.

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.

Independence Day Deals in NYC!

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Hey New York Bandwagoners!

The 4th of July is coming up, which means it’s time to get out of town. When you do, make sure to grab our holiday deals, deals, deals on per-seat rides to the airport:

  • $15 to LaGuardia Airport

  • $30 to JFK and Newark Airports

  • Also, new users can take an extra $10 off using the code INDEPENDENCE

Get the app now for iPhone and Android, and celebrate your independence from wasteful transportation by sharing your ride!  

Happy Trails!

The Bandwagon Team

P.S.

Connect with us — and share your rides — on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.

NYC Transportation Department To Share Cars

Everyone is sharing, not just the little guys. Under a new initiative, 300 employees of New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) will share 25 vehicles from Zipcar, instead of driving NYC fleet vehicles.

“Earlier this year, we announced a large-scale effort to make City government smaller, smarter, and more sustainable – both environmentally and fiscally,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “An important component of that effort is looking at City-owned cars. A car share program could help reduce the number of cars we use, cut our costs, free up parking on our streets and reduce the congestion on our streets and the pollution in our air. It’s another example of how we are constantly working on new ways to deliver better services at a lower cost to the taxpayer and to the environment.”

Most of the vehicles will be hybrids (23 hybrid vehicles and 2 mid-sized vans), which will save fuel and reduce pollution. And when not being used, the cars can be used by others, rather than sitting idle all night or weekend. The pilot program could “save more than $500,000 over four years in reduced costs for vehicle acquisitions, fuel and maintenance." 

Of course the innovative DOT, which has made massive pedestrian improvements and added crazy amounts of bike lanes, would be the first to try this. How long will it be before other government agencies follow?

via Treehugger. Photo: Mark E. Seitelman

The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

Author (and Weeels fan) Rachel Botsman, has just published Collaborative Consumption, an exploration of how technologies and peer communities are redefining how we share and give. Tomorrow, she hosts a panel entitled: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption at the Kellen Aditorium (The New School, 66 Fifth Ave, NY 10011 - tickets here). It’s right up our alley.

“The panel will be highly interactive, exploring opportunities and themes related to Collaborative Consumption including: the role of design thinking; how technology creates trust between strangers; and the new culture and economy around sharing.”

Weeels will be there, as will a host of other smart NY startups that are doing great work pushing NY Culture in some very smart, pro-social directions. Among the companies participating in the panel are: OurGoods and Airbnb – two fine examples of how networked communities can get stronger by coordinating the use of their existing resources. Check out this cute animation, which does a nice job framing the movement at large.

In fact, it’s a good week for collaborative consumption across the board. Brooklyn Based, a local blog and email newsletter just wrote a very nice piece about SnapGoods, which is another social network that allows you to do do things like “request a reservation with an appliance you only need for one night–like a blender for a party–or take home a big-ticket gadget for the weekend–say an iPad–so you can be certain it’s worth buying." 

Hmm. Maybe Weeels can use SnapGoods to rent some Blackberries, so we can test out our new Mobile Web Application!

Weeels Talks About Networking, Excess Capacity, and Repair at Urban Omnibus

The online magazine Urban Omnibus places a wonderful emphasis on design, but it’s also a street-side enthusiast of a related subject: smartly distributing resources in a way that can improve our cities, from private cars to office space to regional rail.

So Dave and I were delighted to talk to the editor, Cassim Shepard, about some of the thinking behind Weeels and how we got started. Here’s a longish excerpt (and read the whole thing here):

UO: The excess capacity in existing infrastructure is something we think about a lot. Say a little more about how this line of thought influenced you as you came up with Weeels? David: I started thinking seriously about using existing infrastructure as a design strategy after reading Christopher Alexander’s The Timeless Way of Building. He dedicates a chapter to repair that makes the case for re-use (“Every act of building…is an act of repair”), not from an ecological perspective, but from a truly environmental perspective.

Christopher Alexander is particularly interested in the positive potential of concerted human attention — if we are all repairers/builders, then our environment can be exponentially denser, richer, etc. I see that ethic in projects that deal with excess capacity as well – information and information technology are used as tools to activate or accentuate human agency and attention. Weeels poses this question explicitly by providing an opportunity for a large community of users to improve their environment by acting together.

I love trains, but the train infrastructure in the United States is impoverished. If you’re going to think about mobility in the context of the United States, you have to address the automobile directly. So I started to ask, What if the car is not a private transit vehicle, but a public transit vehicle?

Something about the idea seemed inevitable to me, perhaps the correspondence between our digital information systems and physical road/car systems. I built some computer models to approximate the behaviors of these socialized cars. Then the iPhone came out and all of a sudden many of my ideas seemed less like science fiction. So I started mocking up a smart-phone interface — and a few years later, here we are…

Alex: The advent of social networking, largely with the rise of Facebook, held out the promise of an interesting technological solution to excess capacity: more responsive shared knowledge, and the many efficiency benefits that could come with it. Imagine a smart version of Craigslist. Now, for instance, we could perhaps know if someone in our friend group was getting rid of a book that we wanted to read — or had extra room in their car or in their cab….

Weeels appeals to me because it makes use of our networks to tackle a very straightforward problem that we intuitively know can and should be solved through sharing. Potentially, its solution is a very elegant one: Weeels unites our need for mobility, our desire to save money and our responsibility to be more efficient in our use of natural resources, all underwritten by our willingness to share.

UO: Given the trouble the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has had setting up cab sharing stations that are actually used in Manhattan, how do you see Weeels as a successful tool?

Alex: Rather than asking people to wait at a few locations for a cab, imagine that taxi stands can be anywhere…

It’s a really nice interview (and they gave our posters a shout-out too!). Thanks Cassim and the rest of the Urban Omnibus gang!

Remember to try Weeels this weekend (and let us know how it goes at feedback at weeels dot org).