taxi

Aloha, Energy Innovators!

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We love the warmth and beauty of Hawaii as much as anyone. That’s just one of many reasons we’re excited to be part of the 2015 class of the Energy Excelerator, a novel startup program in Honolulu devoted to "high quality energy entrepreneurs" and their innovations. 

Along with $5M in funding for the selected 17 startups, the Energy Excelerator will provide valuable guidance as we and our classmates expand our markets and advance sustainable consumption. Hawaii presents a special challenge and opportunity for Bandwagon: in terms of traffic congestion, Honolulu is often ranked last among U.S. cities, alongside L.A.

“Bandwagon is excited to get to Hawaii and start hacking on new traffic congestion and pollution problems, and to dig into the airport and event markets from Honolulu to Beijing,“ says David, our CEO.

"Anybody who flies into Honolulu and drives into town—heading to Waikiki, for example—you are immediately struck by the H-1 freeway, seven lanes of traffic going in the same direction,” Dan Grabauskas, executive director and CEO of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation ­(HART), told CityLab. “And if you land at rush hour, it’s a standstill. It surprises people when they come here, to see how much congestion we face." 

The firms involved come from across the spectrum: transportation, agriculture, water, energy efficiency, grid, and resilience.

“We saw a huge jump in the quality of companies applying to our program, with 85 percent having already raised external funding,” says Dawn Lippert, Director of the Energy Excelerator. “Beyond the high level trends, we get to see how emerging energy companies have structured their businesses and how they are targeting the market. We’re looking for where their approach to the market matches the pain points we hear from our public and private sector partners.”

Last year, the Energy Excelerator received a multi-year $30M commitment from the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research to support the commercialization of game-changing clean energy technologies. These new companies double the size of the Energy Excelerator portfolio, who have gone on to raise over $55M of follow-on funding.

—Alex

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You can check out our entire Energy Excelerator 2015 class below:

Bandwagon connects passengers to share rides and taxi fares through their mobile app.

www.bandwagon.io | @hibandwagon

Bidgely tells homeowners how much energy each appliance uses by extracting energy signatures - without the need for lots of hardware sensors.

www.bidgely.com | @bidgely

BrightBox Technologies improves HVAC performance and comfort, and lowers operating costs, through optimization software.

www.brightboxtech.com

BrightLight Systems combines energy efficient lighting and automation.

www.brightlightsystems.com | @brightlightsys

Edisun Heliostats develops low cost concentrated solar power with built-in storage using rocks as a storage medium.

www.edisun.com

Effortless Energy offers free home energy upgrades at no cost to customers.

GoEffortless.com | @goeffortless

FreeWire Technologies combines robotics and energy storage to create a network of mobile electric vehicle chargers.

www.freewiretech.com | @freewiretech 

Go Electric delivers the next generation of microgrids for facilities that need to attach or detach to utility power at a moment’s notice.

www.GoElectricInc.com

Infinite Invention supports the integration of solar on the electric grid through plug-and-play solar connection and control.

www.infiniteinvention.com

Kunoa Cattle Company enables large-scale local food production powered by renewables.

kWh Analytics reduces financial risk and enables solar financing through analysis of asset performance.

kwhanalytics.com | @kwhanalytics

Prota Culture produces biodiesel and animal feed from organic waste.

Rebound Technology turns supermarket freezers into batteries.

www.rebound-tech.com | @reboundtech 

Ridescout aggregates public, private, and social transportation options into one mobile app.

www.ridescout.com | ridescout

Shifted Energy creates a virtual power plant of electric water heaters to store excess renewable energy and deliver demand response.

www.ShiftedEnergy.com | @shiftedenergy 

Spider9 develops smart controllers that make large battery systems more reliable and profitable.

www.spider9.com | @spider9inc1

TransitScreen synthesizes all sustainable transportation options in real time into one screen.

www.transitscreen.com | @transitscreen

Photos by Energy Excelerator and Kyle Nishioka

Tapping Into the Power of Local Drivers

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For rides booked in advance, Bandwagon relies upon one of the largest and modern fleets of private car service vehicles in New York City. And growing. Today, we’re pleased to welcome 300 drivers into our flock, through a new partnership with one of Brooklyn’s leading car service companies, Eastern Car Service that more than doubles our network of shareable, comfortable, energy-efficient vehicles

We’re dedicated to improving service while working with existing TLC-licensed cars and drivers in New York, with the aim of increasing transportation access for New Yorkers while reducing congestion and waste. 

In addition to expanding riders’ access to cars in New York City, Bandwagon’s ridesharing model reduces prices when demand is high by connecting fellow travelers to share cabs and split the cost. (On Thursday and Friday, an individual seat in a Bandwagon to an NYC airport costs as low as $12.)

And with partners like Eastern, we are also helping businesses consolidate their trips, and addressing the problem of “curb crunch” situations at the airport, conferences and events. Our ride dispatch system in NYC now taps into a fleet of over 500 vehicles (including dozens of hybrids) managed by our local base station partners. 

If you’re a car service interested in partnering with us, reach Ugur Inanc at ugur.inanc@bandwagon.io.

Image: Jason Lawrence

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.

This Is What New York's Next Taxi Will Look Like

What will the next New York City taxi look like? NYC’s Taxi of Tomorrow finalists were announced last week – designs from Nissan, Ford and Karsan (in order above) – and to find a winner, the Taxi and Limousine Commission has opened voting up to everyone. One voter will win a year of cab rides.

The three finalists offer increased interior space, ease of entering and exiting, attractive exterior, interior electrical outlets, sunroofs, and interior lighting.

But of course, hardware means nothing without good software. When we talk about tomorrow, it’s important to remember that while vehicles themselves are an important part of delivering reliable service to New Yorkers, service and systems design – like what we’re working on at Weeels – will have a huge role to play in how we use vehicles in the city. That means improving the way we hail, share, and pay for our rides.

Go vote – and keep in mind a car that will be easiest to share (that Karsan jumpseat is pretty awesome)!