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Squire: Wi-fi Enabled, Comfortable Point to Point Commuter Transit

Below is our proposal to bring a significantly improved commuting solution to Grand Rapids and its suburbs.

Photo of Matt Beck
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Written by

Squire provides wi-fi enabled, flexible commuter transit from suburbs to downtown, suburb to suburb, and public transit to employer locations. We leverage existing private fleets and infrastructure to improve commuting experiences giving people back their productive time, reducing congestion, and eliminating environmental impact. Riders are able to book seats and buy tickets in advance, as well as track shuttles, load boarding passes, and view upcoming rides in our mobile app.

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

Our typical customers are ordinary commuters, and employers whose office locations make using public transit for the full commute difficult or impractical. We operate out of local park and ride locations according to set route times delivering riders at or near their office locations. Our operations qualify riders for commuter tax benefits greatly reducing their costs of commuting. Additionally, our service is built to solve different challenges throughout the day. During rush hour in the morning and evening we provide transit for work/home bound commuters. During the day and overnight we can re-deploy our services to extend/assist public transit services, aid in healthcare patient mobility, provide shuttling for students, or simply join already existing transportation network companies.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Our team is made up of four leaders: Matt, a Kellogg Business School grad and Google digital marketer; Jeff, an operations and regulatory specialist; Allie, a Social Media and PR guru; Ricky, a full stack developer at Fanatics. Our website is: www.SquireService.com.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $50,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

Our routes are crowd-sourced allowing local communities to decide where they should launch, and where those routes should go to. Because we work with existing infrastructure we are able to scale quickly, with low capacity requirements needed to add new routes/locations. Our routes provide local economic opportunity, typically working with local companies, adding new driving employment jobs, and saving riders significant amounts of money. We are able to launch and expand our service very cost-effectively as evidenced by our initial launch in Chicago. We were able to market our service, garner media coverage in the Chicago Tribune and NBC news, and put service on the road for under $20K as a bootstrapped start-up. Riders pay per ride, with decreasing prices as their frequency of riding increases. Our pricing is set to ensure breakeven at a reasonable rider capacity, enabling us to be cash flow positive on a daily basis.

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

Our success exists on a route by route basis, grounded in ridership and trajectory towards hitting a breakeven/cash positive route. No route is reliant on any other to exist, though as routes are added a network effort would enable us to provide additional service to areas. Our approach to expansion takes a number of factors into account. Leveraging publicly available data we identify top departure and destination locations (like commuting population, daily distance traveled, access to public transit). We then survey potential new locations to allow prospective customers to decide where we should bring our service to next. In the Chicago area we have generated support from local governments, individual riders, and employers to help determine where expansion can be most beneficial.

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Photo of Tom Bulten
Team

Hi Matt: The Grand Rapids Challenge is closing on October 1. Soon the proposals will be shortlisted to about 12 finalists. So, we are starting to connect similar ideas and explore possible collaborations. Steve Hartman suggests expanding an existing employer-based transit service in Grand Rapids (https://challenges.cityoftomorrow.com/challenge/grand-rapids/propose/removing-the-transportation-barrier-to-workforce-development/comments#comments-section). Ryan Anderson proposes "Dynamic, Demand-Driven Routes" (https://challenges.cityoftomorrow.com/challenge/grand-rapids/propose/dynamic-demand-driven-routes). John Vargo suggests Smart Bussing for Grand Rapids (https://challenges.cityoftomorrow.com/challenge/grand-rapids/propose/smart-bussing-public-infrastructure-meets-ride-sharing). You also might consider distinguishing your model from other existing services such as Chariot (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariot_(company)).

Photo of Matt Beck
Team

Hi Tom: Appreciate you reaching out and directing to those other submissions. I've messaged both Ryan and John. It sounds like their ideas can be built off the back of ours, and they are looking for someone who could bring their ideas to life. Definitely love some good collaboration! Thank you!

Photo of Tom Bulten
Team

Hi Matt: I'm one of the facilitators here on the forum. Thanks for adding this proposal for crowd-sourcing commuter routes.

Photo of Matt Beck
Team

HI Tom,

Thanks for taking a look at our proposal and let me know if you have any questions! We are looking forward to being considered among the other proposals.

Thanks,
Matt