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RideConnect, A better way to give rides, get rides and make money

RideConnect is a ridesharing 2.0 platform with which you can create your own rideshare or enhance current services.

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RideConnect is revolutionizing ridesharing and first and last-mile connectivity. 


RideConnect is a software and technology company. We have made an app (iOS, Android) that enables anyone to run a transportation business, for any type of transportation service they wish to offer to their customers, or to the general public. Today RideConnect is used in a multitude of cities and towns around the globe to create niche rideshares, corporate rideshares, and carpooling services. 


The gig economy gave rise to numerous taxi companies such as Uber and Lyft that only recently began rideshare offerings. In such services drivers are bound to their providers’ revenue models, keeping them away from or unaffordable to communities and neighborhoods that need service. In Austin, these drivers are limited to the central, north, and west of the city, and the airport. Even CapMetro buses that I use daily barely reach beyond (east of) the Hwy 183 loop into the eastern crescent.


RideConnect has been tested and shown to work by several ride-sharing groups in Austin, Texas, and around the world. We are actively conducting workshops and webinars to engage drivers, to highlight the merits and potential of creating rideshares on the RideConnect platform. 


RideConnect enables drivers to run their own rideshare business on terms that are acceptable to them and to their passengers, thus creating a paradigm shift from the taxi operator paradigm to a driver/operator paradigm. 


By adopting RideConnect any resident can participate in the solution to create their business opportunities, solutions, and for-profit and free services. Services that connect underserved neighborhoods, and residents to different modes of public and private transportation, to doctors, offices, schools, and entertainment options, all in one app, seamlessly. 


Drivers can use RideConnect to create last-mile services. Local grocery stores, hospitals and clinics, and event organizers can increase their visitation or sales by engaging these local drivers’ RideConnect rideshares (Channels), or they can create their own Channels. The threshold to creating successful rideshare is getting sufficient riders, which the cities, organizations, and corporations backing the City One Austin challenge can catalyze through engagement. Once drivers and their rideshare Channels have sufficient engagement, RideConnect Channels in Austin will grow organically.


We are striving to create compact neighbourhoods where residents have the ability to meet most of their everyday needs within a short time frame from their home. We are looking to improve community traffic and transport to enable all residents to have their everyday needs met within a short time frame. By integrating RideConnect with existing modes of public transportation we aim to increase public transport utilization and efficiency, and decrease wait times. One app to hail a ride to the bus stop and to alert their bus driver to pick them up through advance check-in options. 


The Austin traffic is a gridlock. I live in Austin and I don’t own a car because traffic barely moves at the times I am in a hurry and when it does parking is expensive or lacking. Corporations in the Domain or downtown could create or engage RideConnect rideshares for their employees and start making an impact on our gridlock.


With RideConnect, people who wish to obtain a ride can easily do so with habits they're familiar with - ride-hailing and ride-scheduling. They can order a ride with their favorite drivers or send out a general request to any takers. Get a ride to a doctor and a grocery store in one affordable ride by choosing a rideshare Channel that works for and with you. 

 

Whichever way residents wish to use it, RideConnect does not come in-between users and instead enables organic growth of transportation commerce between willing parties of drivers and riders. Our revenue model will be self-sustaining beyond the pilot phase without impinging on drivers and service providers’ profits. By winning this challenge we can connect RideConnect rideshare Channels with corporations, healthcare providers, and other providers.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Personas: current drivers, residents who want to earn/do charity by driving, schools, corporate/institutional rideshares. RideConnect drivers can take home all their earnings, thus creating the incentive to build diverse services to make mobility affordable and connect people, places, and opportunities. A driver can use our app for-profit and charity concurrently With RideConnect, a small town and any resident can set up their own transportation business and tackle last-mile connectivity. Fleet operators can use RideConnect to coordinate dispatch services and collaborate with employers to create corporate rideshares. RideConnect envisions through cities to plug into public transportation to alleviate last-mile connections and wait times, and improve frequency and efficiency. With RideConnect you can continue to operate current fleets.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Ready to Scale - you have completed and expanded your pilot and are seeing adoption of your solution by your intended user

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Drivers are tired of being exploited, they're adopting RideConnect around the world. We've listened to feedback and developed features that enable our users to solve last-mile connectivity, carpooling, and create services for underserved populations. Eg: Channels feature was created in response to drivers feedback. Riders are looking for familiar, affordable, reliable, dependable drivers, and drivers are looking to make a better living. RideConnect v1.6 is coming in late 2019

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

RideConnect was incorporated in 2016 but the concept came about in 2011 while sitting in traffic. We follow Agile principles of development and management, i.e. we can adapt to changing demands and priorities. Our CEO (Santish Krishnan) and CTO (Allan Pichardo) have worked together on RideConnect close to 11 years, and I (Shreyas Krishnan, Ph.D.) have joined the team more recently taking on operations management. There are 3 members in total with numerous contractors who help when needed.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

www.RideConnect.com

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

RideConnect is live on the Android and iPhone market places. Our focus is to bring in new users, create adoption and collaboration. We will invest in marketing, customer support, maintenance, customizations, new features, and integration of features with existing public transportation. Funds will be put toward staff salaries and will supplement our resources [Developers x 2, Lead developer x 1, Operations and marketing manager x 1]. We expect to be self-sustaining in less than 6 months.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

RideConnect is currently used in several cities including in Austin. From day 1 of selection, we will focus on awareness and outreach to bring residents, drivers, fleet operators and employers in and surrounding the impact areas to adopt RideConnect. We will conduct workshops, advertise locally, propose service ideas and aid drivers to grow their rideshare communities and learn from their feedback. Our testers and operations manager will be onsite to train and learn the nuances of our integrations and residents’ RideConnect services. We will create new features based on feedback. Our developers will implement new features. Adoption of RideConnect in the Austin impact area will make RideConnect self-sustaining in the area beyond the pilot phase.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

Number of completed rides per week and month; Growth of rideshare community size; Growth in number of rideshare communities; Number of customer service and troubleshooting requests; Number of integrations with third-party systems; Passenger, driver and fleet operators feedback; User retention and churn rate; Virality of RideConnect and increase in number of rides, users, drivers, Channels, are being mapped using network analysis techniques.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

RideConnect is free to download. Our B2C model caters to end-users wishing to obtain transportation (riders) or provide transportation as individuals. This model enables individuals to monetize their time through transportation services. Our B2B model caters to organizations that operate fleets or provide organized group transportation for their employees, events or other situations where the transportation provider operates numerous vehicles and provides services to the general public.

Social Media

@rideconnect ; https://www.facebook.com/RideConnect/

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Here's a video about RideConnect that I created for another such competition: https://youtu.be/nRFX5nObpP8