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Whipster: The Travelocity 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.

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http://whipstermobile.com 

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

THE PROBLEM:  Urban transportation for the consumer is too disjointed.  There are too many transportation options, too many consumer apps, too many profiles consumers must maintain, too many vendors customers must register their credit cards with, and ultimately there is no effective way for consumers to compare prices, service availability or arrivals/departure times. Consumers get frustrated opening and flipping through multiple apps to compare the various urban transportation options available to them. These frustrated consumers have stopped using single-services apps. Inadvertently, this impacts both governmental and private attempts to effectively advertise current and prospective services.  These problems feed one another.

THE SOLUTION: Urban transportation services need to be aggregated into a single platform.  One platform, a single app, that integrates all methods of urban transportation so consumers can navigate the sea of options, the various transportation methods, have a single profile to manage and a single trusted source to minimize their credit card security risks.  Urban transportation, similar to air travel and hotels, has become a commodity - and commodities best serve the public and the end user when they are aggregated into a single system.  Additionally, aggregated platforms allow consumers to instantly become aware of new and emerging services enabling businesses and governments to list new transportation services without specifically having to massively market those services.  The power of aggregation was made apparent to Spirit Airlines, as it discovered that Travelocity and Expedia significantly reduced its need to market directly to consumers. Its services and routes were already being communicated directly to its customers through those aggregation platforms.

And that's what Whipster is - The Travelocity of Urban Transportation!

WHIPSTER IS THE SOLUTION: 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 Pittsburgh, Whipster integrates rideshare, taxis, bikeshares, parking (garages and on-street) and public transit (including walking and biking paths).  Currently, Pittsburgh does have a downtown bikeshare but does not yet offer an e-bike provider or the e-scooters taking the nation by storm.  If these are services Pittsburgh is looking to add to its downtown footprint Whipster, through its extensive nationwide partnerships and relationships, will work with Pittsburgh to help bring these services to the city.  Whipster, partnering closely with the City of Pittsburgh, will also work to integrate new methods of transportation or existing methods of transportation into our seamless platform as they come online.  Whipster, backed by the City of Pittsburgh, can help bring Pittsburgh one step closer to being a true smart city; a city of tomorrow!

For everyone who travels beyond Pittsburgh, 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.

Commuters and travelers no longer need to continuously check their app stores or research what or who the latest transportation services are; Whipster users can simply use the app, wherever they might be, and through it access all of the transportation services as soon as they become available.  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 the need to investigate local bike vendors or city paths.

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 you're a daily commuter, a transportation business looking for more exposure, or a city official looking for opportunities to turn Pittsburgh into a 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. Integrate local taxi, black car & limo services, leveling the competition against national vendors 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. Help bring e-bikes and e-scooters to Pittsburgh. 4. Our implementation focus will be the user experience and ease of back-end transactions. 5. We will work closely with transit and mobility organizations to ensure there are no problems with the transactional platform. 6. We will work closely with transit vendors/authorities unique to Pittsburgh 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

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Hi Katherine, Thanks for posting into Pittsburgh Challenge, Katie - Facilitator

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