B2B Microtransit service emphasizes data-driven accessibility
Getting around has never been easier. Night out with friends? Call an Uber or Lyft. Quick jaunt downtown? Depending on where you live: Lime Bike, taxi or bus. Rather than reinvent the wheel, SHARE in Columbus is taking a different approach to transportation — a B2B approach. By focusing on an organization’s role in supporting its employees, students or members with reliable, accessible transportation, the ridesharing service hopes to provide an innovative way for people to get around.
“Contrary to what it seems, SHARE is more than a transportation alternative, we are a data company,” said CEO Ryan McManus. “At SHARE, we have a unique operating model that leverages data and artificial intelligence to deliver a more efficient and accessible transportation service. Someone might ask: ‘how does SHARE fit into my transportation life?’ A SHARE ride provides rides to work, to the grocery store, to schools or to the doctor. These are recurring trips that happen on a regular basis and can be scheduled in advance.”
Though ridesharing is a familiar concept, SHARE’s approach is structured differently from other apps like Uber or Lyft. SHARE’s rides are provided through an organization, like an employer, a school or a senior community. From there, the user can schedule a ride, noting when and where they have to be at a certain time. Think: arriving at work every day at 9 a.m. SHARE then uses data to connect you with other riders going the same direction at the same time, which allows them to reduce the cost of their rides by 50 – 75 percent. This emphasis on efficient transportation is part of a larger, statewide effort by Drive Ohio to advance smart mobility.
“We’re kind of like the Aflac of ridesharing,” said McManus. “Our dispatch platform allows us to predict in advance what type of traffic we’re going to have so we can determine the optimal pickup order. This model allows us to make our rides more productive and efficient. By leveraging the smart city data from Columbus’ operating systems, we can make our routing more predictable.”
SHARE isn’t just about a productive, stress-free ride to work. One of its main focuses is on transforming communities through transportation. They do this primarily by working with businesses to provide a simple, but necessary solution for underserved communities: access.
“My vision is that we’re going to work with employers so that they’re going to change their application,” said McManus. “Instead of asking, ‘do you have reliable transportation’ they’re going to ask, ‘do you need reliable transportation?’ And doctor’s offices and schools are going to be able to ask that same question. We really see transportation as transforming the way people get access to jobs, education and healthcare.”
The SHARE vision doesn’t stop there. Mentorship and support from Rev1 Ventures and NCT Ventures, both partners of Ohio Third Frontier, have allowed SHARE to extend their innovative solution to their drivers. At SHARE, drivers are monitored for distracted driving to aid in training and driver experience and are paid as W2 employees. McManus hopes the company’s model of putting people first will be a driving force to change opportunities for short-term employment.
“We are building a gig economy company that takes care of its people and Columbus is the perfect place to do it,” said McManus. “Here, we have a diverse socioeconomic mix, the state capital, a large university and robust industry. We’re excited about what’s happening with Drive Ohio and we’re excited to be a part of making Ohio an epicenter for innovative transportation.”