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A Community Carpool Solution for Families: Solving mobility challenges in Indianapolis

Gokid is offering its carpool solution to schools in Indianapolis, allowing families to schedule carpools within their trusted communities

Photo of Stefanie Lemcke
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In the United States more than 50,000 schools are without a bus system. Existing bus routes often do not run in full capacity. A stunning 54% of all students in the US are being driven to school in personal vehicles. 81% of citizens in Indianapolis state they are using their vehicles as the main mode of transportation and according to the challenge summaries there are areas in Indianapolis where access to a car is nearly required to participate in Indy’s economic life. For many parents, scooters and bikes are not yet seen as a reliable, safe or realistic mobility to get their children around before and after school. Therefore it comes to no surprise that  working residents would like to utilize flexible mobility solutions that better coordinate with school pick-up/drop-offs, child and elderly care, and after-work errands. In many lower-income neighborhoods, ride-hailing and micro-mobility options are seen as too costly for regular use. 

GoKid is using the existing desire to help within communities by pooling resources and has created a technology solution that helps families to carpool within their trusted network: Schools, sports teams, co-workers and neighbors. Already 500,000 rides have been scheduled on our platform across the US and internationally and with our school solution we are live across schools in the US.  With its mission-driven business model to drastically reduce traffic and emissions, GoKid—when implemented on a city level—will enable local and regional institutions and governments to: 

1) Help children to show up to school and make transportation change easy by enabling families to save time and money spent on fuel, as well as decrease lost productivity time

2) Instantly reduce traffic emissions

3) Significantly reduce single occupied vehicles¹ and vehicle miles traveled (VMT)

4) Contribute to the overall well-being of their citizens by cutting down on driving times

We propose to run a pilot from January - June 2020 at 20 selected schools and sports teams using our b2b solution GoKid Connect, and promoting our apps via other marketing channels. 

In a second phase, our solution can be expanded to address additional pressing problems in Indianapolis to 1) add drivers when no parent is able to drive (additional partner / scope of work) 2) user our solution to work for senior citizens (additional branding / marketing needs). (both options not including in initial scope)  

We would be delighted to work with community partners, the city of Indianapolis, Ford and Microsoft on making carpooling a sustainable form of family transportation option in Indy! 

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

GoKid aims to bring its family mobility solution to Indianapolis' families, schools and sports teams to help improve school and sports attendance, to lower tardiness and to reduce traffic and congestion in front of schools. We also want to improve safety and security. We can empower individuals, schools, communities, and organizations to collaborate in order to radically improve Indianapolis' mobility. We see GoKid as the solution of choice for schools with little or no busing. In our school admin portal school admins can view how many families are using the system and number of carpools created.

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)

On the GoKid platform 500,000 trips have been set up - we have saved 8 million miles of driving, 5 milliion pounds of CO2 and taken over half a million cars off the road; For our b2b solution GoKid recently received a grant from the State of Michigan to implement our solution at schools across the State and first schools have been selected. We have also been selected to the first ION Smart City Accelerator in Houston (1 M school aged children) where we are supported by the City of Houston.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

We are at team of parents, serial entrepreneurs and technology innovators that started with the idea that there must be a better way to transport our children. Our leadership Dr. Stefanie Lemcke (CEO) Ashley Clark (COO) and Dustin Ward (lead engineer) are driven by experience building a solution that works for all citizens. We have five engineers and a support team, each member is proud to make and impact in solving pressing issues like traffic and CO2 reduction while helping parents save time.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $75,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

GoKid will offer the full technology solution to 20+ schools and sports organizations in Indianapolis with approximately 10,000 students. Budget includes running operations in Indianapolis for 6 months period ($ 18,000) offering the GoKid Connect to 20 schools for free for 6 months (valued at $ $ 50,000) marketing materials, online campaigns ($ 7,000). Our offer to sports organizations will include a free trial for parents in sports teams using Teamsnap or Sportsengine.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

If awarded Gokid will implement our solution in three (3) phases: (1) planning phase: November / December as pre-launch to identify and onboard the 20 schools, working with Citi:1, resources and data like the maps, as well as the broader community to identify schools and areas with biggest need. (2) implementation phase: In January / February we will launch Gokid Connect at all 20 selected schools. We will be using webinars to on-board schools, and our internal resources to set up contracts with schools, all communication with schools and parents will be handled via our marketing / sales department. (3) Analyze, optimize and report: we will check in with school regarding registered users, adaptation of system, number of carpools created etc. At end of pilot phase we will write a report. Here we will need to aggregate and visualize data. On the third and most important level will report strategic recommendations + tactical ways forward including city resources and third parties.

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

We are measuring the following 1) registered users 2) carpool trips created 3) miles saved 4) times saved 5) CO2 reduction 6) cars taken off the road. In addition, with interested schools we can compare data on reduction of tardiness and absentee time (we need school data input). We will measure and report the aggregate savings and results in a year end report. Via our admin portal, each participating school will receive access to their own schools data. With our planned school check ins we will assure that schools communicate effectively, and potentially implement a reward system to increase parent presentation.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

We are already working with schools across the US. Early on, we will be discussing schools' budgets for ongoing license agreements for the 2020/2021 school year; we also aim to work with the City of Indianapolis to establish our program as a sustainable mobility solution for the entire city, backed by the city / DOT / DOE, to bring us into all school districts. We would be open to discussing a driver based (small bus) solution for those schools / communities with few parents who drive with Ford


Join the conversation:

Photo of Elizabeth Durden

Hello Dr. Stefanie, I am Liz a City One Community Resource Liaison, Your proposal is fantastic!!! I just have a couple questions. I understand it will cost $7,000 for your online ad campaign and $18,000 for operations in Indy during your pilot. What will you use the remaining $50,000 for? Will the volunteer parent drivers or the community transporters be compensated in any manor? If necessary will you hire local drivers or will you hire drivers from outside of the community?

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