From Nick Barron. Follow him on Twitter @nbarron; email him at nick[AT]borderstan.com.
Innovation is happening in how you get from point A to point B, and a company now in a DC startup accelerator, RidePost, wants to help you cover long distances while having memorable experiences.
RidePost lets you do two things: Make money off the empty seats in your vehicle by making them available to travelers headed where you’re going, and grab a ride with someone traveling to your destination with an open spot in their vehicle.
There are 2.3 billion car trips in the United States each year, according to RidePost co-founder and CEO Marty Bauer, 80% of which are single occupancy. RidePost wants to create inventory out of all those empty seats.
“That’s where we see ride sharing,” Bauer said. “Capitalizing on people taking the same trip every day who have empty seats.”
Drivers can make a little money, and riders can get where they’re going more affordably than through other transportation options. The basis of the idea, getting money from those riding in your car, isn’t new, as anyone who’s taken a college road trip with friends can attest.In fact, it’s on a college campus that RidePost started, at the University of South Carolina, where Bauer and co-founders Blair Decker and Nik Budisavljevic were graduate students.
Bauer came back from a stint in Europe, where he traveled by taking car trips with strangers, thinking there may be an opportunity to enable large numbers of people to do the same in the U.S.The three founders started RidePost in Greenville, S.C., and were soon joined by Robert Pearce, who left a good paying job in Charleston to give RidePost a shot as Chief Technology Officer.
RidePost was accepted late last year into The Fort, a startup accelerator run by Fortify Ventures out of 1776, the new startup epicenter run by Evan Burfield.
Getting to DC was a goal for RidePost, who sees DC and its proximity to other East Coast cities as a key part of their company’s success.
Now having moved to DC, it’s up to the RidePost team to realize their company’s vision of getting large numbers of people to use RidePost.
If the company’s successful, one day your trip to Philadelphia may be via RidePost and not a discount bus line.