Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Paidtogo can help reduce traffic congestion and pollution while incentivizing exercise

Paidtogo is an active commute tracking and incentives program that pays commuters through sponsor ad dollars and donations.

Photo of Aaron Soth-Evans
5 3

Written by

Paidtogo can help to reduce traffic congestion and pollution while incentivizing exercise. Paidtogo allows users to track their alternative transportation commutes and earn cash and rewards from sponsors. Sponsors can be local or national advertisers, private employers and/or non-profit organizations. Users can join multiple public and private pools for stacked incentives. Public pools are open to anyone in the geographic radius and funds will come from local business sponsors and private donations. Private pools are invite only and have a single sponsor such as an employer. Users will also be added to the Paidtogo National Pool by default and that pool will be funded by national sponsors and donations.  

Payments are not guaranteed and are made based on leaderboard position, funds available and random giveaways. We have advanced fraud detection algorithms in place to make sure users are walking and biking and not driving a vehicle. Sponsors have access to a website dashboard to manage their pools and ad campaigns. With the challenge funds we will be adding public transportation and carpool tracking and incentives to our list of commute types. We will also be adding multi-modal trip planning based on Pittsburgh public transportation data. For phase 2 we will add artificial intelligence and machine learning to our platform to better understand commuter behavior and make ads more relevant for sponsors and users. Our goal is to make this program a win-win for commuters, sponsors and communities by creating value for everyone involved.

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

Our solution is used by two distinct user groups: Commuters and sponsors. A commuter is considered anyone who has downloaded the app and is tracking their active commute activities. A sponsor can be a private employer or a public advertiser. Public users are automatically entered into our national pool. Public users must be in the geographic vicinity of a local community pool to enter. Commuters can select auto tracking and their activities will be automatically recorded whenever they are walking, running or biking. They can also manually start a commute through the app. A sponsor is any individual or organization that is willing to fund a public or private pool. Sponsors can choose to donate to a pool and/or advertise in a pool. Sponsor funds are used to pay commuters by the mile. For phase 2 we are working on adding public transportation and car pooling tracking and incentives. Our goal is to track and incentivize a large percentage of commuters in Pittsburgh and nationwide.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Prototype - you have built a prototype and tested it with potential users
  • Pilot - you have implemented your solution in a real-world scenario

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Paidtogo is in the process of launching in October with a pilot program in Corvallis, Oregon and hopefully a few others cities like Pittsburgh. We have sponsors and city officials interested in participating in this pilot program. Paidtogo is a small team made up of a CEO, CTO, development and marketing team: CEO - Aaron Soth-Evans CTO - Robert Eriksen

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

We will use the challenge funds for the platform updates described above like public transportation and carpool detection and tracking. We will also use $10k to seed the Pittsburgh Public Commuter Pool. Our sales and marketing initiatives will focus on bringing on sponsors and users to the Pittsburgh Community Pool. Paidtogo makes money by taking a percentage of sponsor ad dollars in public pools and on a cost per user basis for private pools. We will use the challenge money to 1)Add $10k to the local Pittsburgh pool 2)establish a local office 3)implement a local sales and marketing strategy 4)upgrade our platform to include public transportation and carpooling. We have some exciting upgrades we are working on and could use money to pay for the additional development time. We have attached a document regarding "use of funds" that outlines how we would use the award money to launch a pilot program in Pittsburgh.

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

Success of the pilot ultimately comes down to creating a self sufficient business model that benefits all parties. Since we are a multi-sided platform, that means a model that benefits both commuters and sponsors. If we can provide a positive ROI for sponsors and provide value to commuters we will have a profitable business model that we can scale in Pittsburgh and nationwide. From an analytics standpoint, here are some important metrics we can use to determine success of the pilot: Number of users Number of sponsors Sponsor funds contributed Ad impressions Ad clicks Car-Miles offset CO2 offset Gas saved Calories burned Both users and sponsors have analytics dashboards they can view to see the above data on the program. Ultimately success will come down to app usage and sponsor ad data. We believe we can provide value to both sponsors (in the form of ROI on ad spend) and users (in the form of user experience and rewards earned).


Join the conversation:

Photo of Diana Avart

Hello Aaron Soth-Evans ,

I really like how this idea encourages alternative modes of transportation, helping to cut down on car traffic and promote healthier and more environmentally friendly options. I am curious if it is something that has been piloted with audiences other than employers/employees, such as healthcare providers, universities, etc. If not, Pittsburgh could be a great place to specifically target expanded audiences, reaching people outside of those that work for large employers that can support these types of incentives.

- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Aaron Soth-Evans

Hi Diana,

Hey Diana thanks for the feedback and great point . I'm hoping we can make some inroads into other types of institutions aside from employers. Churches, schools, athletic clubs, and health insurance providers come to mind. We'd also like to get involved in some 5k and 10k charitable runs where a percentage or all of earnings go to charity. Apps should be live next so please download and let me know your feedback. I created a pilot pool for Pittsburgh that you can enter although there is no money in it yet. If we win in Pittsburgh we will put 10K into the pool to prime the pump.


Photo of Diana Avart

That is great to hear! I think that you are putting yourself in a great position to hit the ground running once you secure the necessary funding. That $10K pool will be a great way to incentivize the first set of Pittsburgh users.
- Diana, Facilitator

Photo of Aly Stone

Interesting app Aaron, big thanks for posting your proposal!
-Aly, community facilitator

Photo of Aaron Soth-Evans

Thanks Aly! We are submitting to the app store today so hopefully you can download and test it next week:)