Hytch Rewards is a mobile app that incentivizes members of the community to share rides during their commute and daily travel through sponsorships from public and/or private contributors.
By earning rewards on the Hytch Rewards platform, local citizens develop a habit of sharing rides. Whether users are taking public transportation, carpooling, or creating a vanpool group to commute to and from work, the Hytch app can track and reward their behavior.
Every ride is validated in the application and will provide the City of Detroit and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) with critical planning data. (Ride reporting data does not contain any personally identifiable information).
This information allows for planning decisions that prioritize the needs of the community and provide a user experience that can be tailored. The project is intended to be collaborative and will give project stakeholders the opportunity to meet mobility needs in near-real-time, by promoting the use of transportation modes, routes, time of day, events, etc., significantly lowering the barriers to mobility in the region.
According to a recent article in Curbed Detroit, the Detroit Department of Transportation has recently overhauled its transit network and that has led to a promising increase in ridership. With Wifi accessibility, eliminated transfer fees, and rides to/from the airport, connecting Detroiters to transit and shared automobiles, will create a new "Motor City;" one that is known for innovating outside of the single-occupant vehicle.
Our idea for the Michigan Central Station and the Corktown Area includes launching our mobile application platform to do the following:
- Help Detroiters overcome transportation barriers by incentivizing carpooling, vanpooling, and transit trips and developing a social network of shared commuters. The incentives will also significantly lower or eliminate the costs and need for owning/operating a vehicle. With some of the highest auto insurance rates in the country, Detroiters could significantly benefit from reducing or eliminating these expenses...not to mention the fuel savings.
- Enable residents to travel to and from major destinations throughout Detroit, whether or not they have a car by having the option to share rides using a transit asset, Q Line, or shared personal vehicle. The City and the DDOT could generate additional revenue by filling empty seats on their transit assets and getting valuable multimodal data.
- Reduce the impact of highways and facilitate the development of a unified neighborhood by promoting high-occupancy trips. This will lead to greater throughput on interstate systems, improve the flow of traffic, and improving air quality in the region. Project sponsors can also inform Hytch users in-app of traffic delays and congestion that could impact trips.
The Hytch platform will be aligned with the Community Benefits Agreement to deliver a program that hits social, environmental, and economic goals of the region.