Pool has been developed with the underserved commuter in mind. We’ve created a mobile application to allow commuters to match with others based on their recurring weekly schedule (think work, school, church, etc.). Users decide their carpooling schedule based on starting and ending addresses, days of the week, and time departing/arriving to/from their destination. Once a driver and rider match, the driver picks up the rider based on their set schedule, and the rider pays the driver based on total mileage directly through the app to avoid cash transactions. The price point of the service is comparable to the cost of a monthly bus pass, and therefore much cheaper than ridesharing services like Lyft or Uber. This means an affordable transportation method for riders, and some supplemental income for the drivers. Pool drivers are only driving other users that have similar schedules/destinations to their own daily/weekly commutes, rather than 'taxiing' passengers like other ridesharing companies, which enables the lower costs to make the rides affordable on a long-term basis for riders. Not only do we want this to be the most affordable transportation solution, but it will also be the most convenient option, by far. The prices are comparable to public transportation, but the convenience of door-to-door service as well as daily time savings are both significant. The creators of Pool understand the importance of public transportation, but also understand the difficulty in establishing public transportation systems. This application leverages existing capital (cars already owned and operated by citizens) which makes this solution quick and easy to deploy. The current focus of the application is for recurring commutes, but we also have plans to integrate 'one-time rides' into our product which would align with this RFP even more than it currently does. The one-time rides would expand the availability of our service to also cover one-off trips to doctor's appointments, grocery stores, and even longer distance inter-city trips.
As seen in Austin's Strategic Mobility Plan “Shared Mobility” and "emerging mobility solutions" were two large focuses of the document. Our product falls in line with each of these initiatives and allows for social and economic mobility since transportation is a large barrier for many activities that car owners take for granted.