How many forms of transportation do you use in a given day, week or month?
Most of us stick to the same route, regardless of whether it’s the smartest, greenest, most healthful or even the quickest way to travel. This is because choice for the average urban traveler hasn’t been made a priority — we’ve been spinning our wheels and only now starting to realize the wealth of options that we could have in our cities.
These days, we see choice as a sign of a healthy economy and improved standard of living. So it’s no wonder that this extends to the historically highly-regulated transportation sector. Today, new transportation options and e-hail technology have stirred up a great deal of controversy and led to national conversations about how private industry and government regulators can play nice together.
Despite all of the confusion, what’s starting to emerge is an exciting new transportation ecosystem that encourages sharing — of bikes, cars, even taxis — and discourages waste. Many millennials are opting to forgo car ownership because it is expensive and, they find, unnecessary. More recently we have seen an incredible resurgence in the use of bikes, marked by bikeshare programs that are launching in cities all over the country — be it NYC or Chattanooga, Tennessee. It’s becoming clear that having ride options isn’t just a passing trend, but a solution to some of our country’s greatest challenges.
RideScout, a mobile app that brings all ground transportation options to your smartphone in real time, was born while I was waiting for the bus in Arlington, VA, watching the bumper-to-bumper traffic sit at a standstill. I knew there had to be a better way, and after realizing what I was looking for didn’t exist, I set out to create it.
As NYC bicyclists, you understand that there’s freedom in choices: you decide when to use a bike and when to leave it. RideScout takes the versatility and freedom of bicycling one step further, allowing users to hire car shares, split taxis, peddle around with Citibike or join the masses on the subway and bus lines that crisscross the city.
These days, we have the means to be truly open and flexible in our transportation options. More and more we see people getting out of private cars, choosing sidewalks, bikes, buses and shared cars instead. Our country is in the midst of a major shift in journey making and we want to be part of the solution.
In late September, Climate Week brought together citizens in a massive march across Manhattan, as well as many of our leaders to discuss how we can reduce our impact. We’re listening closely to our users and this is without a doubt the best time to chime in. Email me personally (email@example.com) with any comments, questions, or suggestions for the app.
Joseph Kopser is the Co-Founder and CEO of RideScout, a startup smartphone app created to increase transportation efficiency by getting people out of their cars and into other public, commercial, and private options. As a U.S. Army Veteran in Clean Energy, Joseph was recognized as a White House Champion of Change in 2013.