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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.

Photo of Shreyas Krishnan
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RideConnect is revolutionizing ridesharing, and first and last-mile connectivity. 


The gig economy gave rise to numerous ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft. In such services drivers are bound to their providers’ revenue models, keeping them away from or unaffordable to communities and neighborhoods that need service. 


RideConnect is a software and technology company. We have made an app 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(Android, iOS). Today RideConnect is used in a multitude of cities and towns around the globe to create niche rideshares, corporate rideshares, and carpooling services. 


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 residents can participate in the solution to create business opportunities, solutions, and for-profit and free services. Services that connect you to different modes of public and private transportation, underserved neighborhoods, commuters to doctors, offices, and entertainment options, all in one app, seamlessly. Our users span all demographic slices, but are individuals that want to solve connectivity issues while making a living wage.


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 homes. We are looking to improve community traffic and transport to enable all residents to have their everyday needs met within a short time frame. Residents can use RideConnect to create last-mile services. By integrating RideConnect with existing modes of public transportation we aim to increase public transport utilization and efficiency, and decrease wait times. 

 

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, and alert their bus driver to pick them up through advance check-in options.

 

Whichever way they wish to use it, RideConnect does not come in-between users, and instead enables transportation commerce between willing parties of drivers and riders. We have a revenue model that will be self-sustaining beyond the pilot adoption phase without impinging on drivers and service providers’ profits. 

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

The gig economy lets us monetize anything, including your car. Small towns and cities around the world are marginalized by big players, leaving them unserved or underserved. RideConnect drivers can take home all their earnings thus creating the incentive to create diverse services to make mobility affordable and connect people, places, and opportunities. 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 city councils to plug into public transportation providers to alleviate last-mile connections and wait times, and improve frequency and efficiency. With RideConnect you can continue to operate the current fleet.

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
  • Fully Scaled - you have already scaled your solution and are exploring new use cases

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

We have listened to user feedback and developed features that enable users to solve last-mile connectivity, carpooling, and create services for underserved populations. For example, rideshare Channels were created in response to drivers' feedback for creating carpooling and corporate rideshare services. We have grown organically because Riders want 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 hailing a ride to Detroit airport. 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, PhD) have joined the team more recently taking on operations management. Additionally, numerous contractors help when needed.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

http://www.rideconnect.com/

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

RideConnect is live on the Android and iPhone market places. During the pilot phase dedicated customer support, maintenance, customizations and integration of features with existing public transportation will require dedicated staff and salaries [Developers x 3, Lead developer x 1, Testers x 1, UI/UX Designer x1, Operations manager x 1]. Based on historical adoption rates we expect to be self-sustaining in 6 months.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

RideConnect is currently used in several cities including in Detroit and MI. I lived in Detroit some years ago, and am familiar with residents' pain points and transportation barriers. Awareness and outreach will be our primary focus to bring residents, drivers, fleet operators and employers in and surrounding the impact area to adopt our solutions. We will conduct workshops, webinars, and propose service ideas and aid drivers to grow their rideshare communities and learn from their feedback. Our developers will implement integration of RideConnect with public transportation services so that within the app a user can both hail rides for the last mile and also check-in to public and other transport services. Our testers and operations manager will be onsite to train and learn the nuances of our integrations and your residents’ RideConnect services. Adoption of RideConnect in the Detroit 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)

We are tracking the following parameters: Number of completed rides per week and month, Growth of rideshare community size, Growth in the 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 the 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

https://www.facebook.com/RideConnect/ https://twitter.com/RideConnect

3 comments

Join the conversation:

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Photo of Boratha Tan
Team

Hi Shreyas Krishnan Thanks for submitting your proposal. I am part of the facilitation team in City:One. I was wondering what the payment model/subscription plan is. In an attachment, it says that there is integration of public transit. Just wondering if this service can compete with Uber/Lyft that can take someone to a transit center, or close to a bus/train stop.

Photo of Shreyas Krishnan
Team

1) The public transit integration is customized to the client and will require customizations and development. Once we have an SOW we will develop the required tech depending on what is currently available with the transit provider.

2) Our company is in the software and app development space, our users, however, can leverage the app to compete with Uber/Lyft. Two examples from user interviews:

2a) one of our users in a small town outside Chicago has exclusive contracts with the hotels and corporations in the town. The town has no Uber or Lyft since those drivers head out to Chicago. This entrepreneur has several drivers and provides a reliable service to the establishments in town.

2b) another user has created a ride-sharing community with almost 300 riders. His team operates in the northeast USA shuttling residents locally, to airports, neighboring cities, and other establishments.

In both examples, these drivers are unwittingly competing, and successfully with the bigger players.

Photo of Shreyas Krishnan
Team

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