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Whipster: The Expedia of Urban Transportation

Ready to scale: compare fares, ETAs & availability for rideshares, taxis, bikes/scooters, bus/metro & parking across the US all in one app

Photo of Katherine Moore
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http://whipstermobile.com 

http://whipsterapp.com (Apple & Android, Register with promo code: COT_GRR to unlock prototype features.)

Whipster is a fully functioning, all-in-one mobility platform, providing all the information necessary for users to plan their commute. Whipster aggregates all modes of transit, including Buses/Metro Rail, Ride Sharing, Taxis, Bike-share, Electric Scooter rentals, and even parking options! Users save money, time, and effort by accessing real-time information in order to compare their transportation options, find the most efficient routes from origin to destination.

Urban transportation has evolved but the technologies, information and tools to access the multitudes of transportation options has not kept pace.  Previously, users had to download multiple apps, fill out multiple profiles, distribute sensitive credit card information to many vendors, flip between apps in order to compare prices or simply just to see what is available.  Whipster changes all of that.  Similar to what users expect from services like Expedia or Travelocity, Whipster delivers simplicity through aggregation.

In Grand Rapids, Whipster offers rideshare, taxis and public transit including walking and biking paths.  Currently, Grand Rapids does not have a bikeshare provider nor does Grand Rapids have on-street or off-street parking integrated into national systems.  Whipster, through its extensive nationwide partnerships and relationships, will work with Grand Rapids to bring a bikeshare vendor (ie: Jump, LimeBike, Sobi, CityBike, etc) to the community and to integrate Grand Rapids parking systems into national networks.  Helping deliver these additional services to the city will bring Grand Rapids one step closer to being a true smart city; a city of tomorrow!

For everyone who travels beyond Grand Rapids, Whipster’s services are currently active across the U.S. and Canada’s major cities.  Whipster’s current in-production app includes public transit systems from over 400 markets, nearly 500 taxi cab companies, 120 bike share companies, 14 rideshare companies (⅓ of the current market options), and 8000 parking garages nationwide.  Whipster’s platform is designed to quickly sync with transportation systems and companies, thus providing residents with the most current transportation information possible.  Whipster is also a progressive app, designed to quickly adopt emerging transportation solutions to continue delivering a single, unified customer experience.

Whipster's eliminates the need for users, local and travelers alike, to know of all services available at any given moment.  If a new rideshare enters the market, users don't need a new app for that, the rideshare simply just appears in Whipster.  If an event congests parking in downtown, Whipster reduces traffic by providing direct routes to available resources.  If tourists want to the see the city on foot or bike, Whipster displays bike paths, bike availability and walking paths eliminating wasted time and getting lost.

For the end user, the every day consumer, Whipster is their transportation resource.

Beyond the end user, Whipster’s level of integration with transportation services allows it to aggregate anonymized Big Data on transportation habits, patterns, and changes across different demographics. This information is critical for public officials and planners eager to make evidence-based decisions on transit/mobility options.

Whipster's unique suite of B2B services is designed to help and assist smaller business be seen.  These services allow taxis and small rideshare vendors to level the playing field against industry giants and allow visitors and travelers to discover local services they otherwise would never have heard of.  

Whipster's B2B key features:

  • Designed for B2B integration (hospitality, corporate travel)
  • Incorporates a proprietary technology designed to target traditional companies who do not have the resources or technology to compete with modern companies (taxi's versus rideshares, parking resources, etc).  This is a key service differentiator.
  • Utilizes hybrid technology for rapid development and deployment
  • Anonymizes Big Data for evidence-based decision making, helping provide the data for cities and companies make the right growth decisions.
  • Levels the playing field again industry giants, putting all companies and services on equal footing.


Whether your a daily commuter, a transportation business looking for more exposure or a city official looking for opportunities to turn Grand Rapids into a smart city of tomorrow, take a moment to download Whipster and take us for a ride.

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

Everyone in motion: * Riders of public transportation can plan their routes with information about departure/arrival times and trip cost. * Drivers can pre-select and pre-pay parking options before even getting in their cars. * Urban commuters can determine their most efficient and cost effective daily commute. * Tourists can find bikes to enjoy the area. * Business travelers can choose the quickest, most cost effective ways to get to and from the airport. * Millennials seeking alternative solutions to car ownership can navigate real-time ride-sharing options. * Public officials who want to inform the residents and visitors about new services, routes, and any other notification pertinent to transportation/transit or public safety. Whipster is constantly evaluating and integrating transportation services to meet the ever-changing needs of the public. We anticipate breaking down the transit silos and creating greater cross-usership today and into the future.

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

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Russel Olinger: founder & software architect, 25 years of IT engineering experience Katherine Moore, CPA: CFO, 22+ years of experience in finance & business mgmt Christian Leon: marketing/communications lead, 10+ years experience with tech companies Jennifer Webb: community engagement/strategic business development lead Cesar Hernandez: public affairs liaison Webb & Hernandez bring substantial experience in next-gen mobility & public-private collaborations. http://www.whipstermobile.com

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

1. Help bring a bikeshare vendor to Grand Rapids 2. Currently, Whipster is an all-in-one informational app. Whipster needs to migrate to a transactional platform; the integration of payment services so users can choose and purchase any ride option without ever leaving the app. 3. Our implementation focus will be user experience and ease of back-end transactions. 4. We will work closely with transit and mobility organizations to ensure there are no problems with the transactional platform. 5. We will work closely with transit vendors/authorities unique to Grand Rapids to ensure they are integrated into Whipster. Projected revenues: 1. Booking & listing fees from taxi & rideshare companies 2. Big Data for city, state govts & private enterprise 3. Affiliate partnerships with national parking systems 4. Corporate accounts for expense reporting 5. B2B services ...and more

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

Success = impact in 5 areas 1. Success of the app, measured in terms of: a. # of daily active users b. Strong engagement c. 30-day retention d. Growth of downloads 2. Increased access to mobility options * 3. Simplified transit process for commuters * 4. Increased ridership on alternatives to personal vehicles* a. Analyze data collected on user queries & commuter decisions b. Administer surveys/focus groups c. Analyze quantitative & qualitative data generated d. Interpret & present data 5. Lessen burden on transit authority’s administration of mobility services* a. Create success matrix with government/transit partners & measure outcomes. b. Process Evaluation: ongoing data collection with partners on process of creating transactional platform that integrates public/private transit entities. Info will be codified & process replicated in future endeavors. * An evaluation partner will help Whipster measure these success factors

9 comments

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Photo of Tom Bulten
Team

Hi Katherine: Thank you for the proposal! I'm one of the facilitators for the Grand Rapids Challenge. The app is live. But, it sounds like the Challenge award would be used to refine the app for the Grand Rapids market and further develop the transactional options of the app. Is that correct?

Your proposal to Miami generated several interesting comments. So, I'll link to those here: https://challenges.cityoftomorrow.com/challenge/miami/propose/whipster-beyond-the-pilot-a-complete-product/comments#comments-section.

Photo of Katherine Moore
Team

You are correct on all points. Our app is live. The Challenge award would be used to help bring services Grand Rapids is lacking to the community (ie: bikeshare, integrated parking, etc) as well as help our development efforts to integrate payment methods to fully round out our product. We would work with the Grand Rapids city officials and transit authorities to determine the best methods for payment integration. Please let us know if you have further questions or if there are points you would like us to clarify further.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hello Katherine, if I may are any of your
bickshare renters make for the handicapped. When I had trying to use it in DC I found no handicap excesable vehicles. If you would like, I'd gladly partner and build the rideshare units. That way your app would be able to help all handicapped people needing or wants a rideshare. That your offer and rode with as a promotion. Like cycling race. And it helps his or her health simaltanioualy.

Photo of Katherine Moore
Team

@Rob Paxton - - Hello Rob, thanks for inquiring. It seems you are asking about both bikeshares and rideshares as if they are one in the same. They are two different subjects. I will address each independently.

As far as we know we are not aware of any bikeshare vendors that offer handicapped bikes. Remember, Whipster is not a vendor itself, rather Whipster aggregates all vendors into its platform so you can see what is available in any particular market.

With regards to rideshares, certain vendors do offer handicapped rideshare services - we know Uber, Lyft and Curb have such resources (all in DC) and those services are listed in Whipster when those services are 'active'. Other examples of specialty services are "child seat", "spanish", "carpooling". Not all services, specialty or not, are 'active' at all hours of the day.

If youare wanting to partner in making or supplying handicap bikeshare...or handicap rideshare services please clarify your question on this comment section again and then maybe we can reach out to one another privately.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

I apologise for any confusion in my response. Yes I would be willing to be a supplier of handicap accessible sidewalk unit. As that is where bikes are supposed to operate. Those not obeying that or areas where no bike path is available. The cyclists an those in that area have the right to patision they city council to address the issues.

Photo of Katherine Moore
Team

@DeletedUser - Thanks for clarifying. This is something we could definitely assist on. We could put you in touch with the appropriate vendors and help facilitate those conversations. Your solution would need to adapt the vendors gps tracking and locking system, I don't know what that would entail but I don't imagine it could be that hard. Let's keep the conversation going.

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Yes as a handicapped man in my 30's a way to exercise, be with friends and get to work is a vital tool for people. I am sure that the adjustments to my designs to lock them would be very simple.

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