6 Myths About Ridesharing Busted

6 ridesharing myths, busted.

We get many questions from our growing member base. Some of the more common things we hear at RidePost are about ridesharing myths.  So we decided to share some easy to digest answers to a few questions, Mythbusters style:

1.) My parents have taught me that getting into the car with a stranger is bad.

Mom and dad are right on this. Picking up a random vagabond on the side of the road with a thumb out or agreeing to get into a windowless van with the ice cream man is not the best way to go. Don’t do that. Ever.

This is why we created RidePost. When booking your trip on RidePost, not only will you know who you are travelling with ahead of time, but you can send mom/dad/friend/family/Facebook friends a unique Trip Itinerary link, where they can see:

  • Who you are traveling with
  • What your itinerary is and driving path
  • When and where you will be meeting
  • Info on your driver and passengers
  • Pre Trip conversations between drivers and passengers

2.)  Isn’t ridesharing like hitch hiking?

No. Fortunately alot has changed since the days of anonymous hitchhiking of 1970’s. Back in the day there was no way to check the reputation and personal information about others ahead of time.

Then the internet happened.

Thanks to online media, an entire generation of people are growing up with real reputations online. Using RidePost, you will know more about the people you are traveling with than you would if you get into a bus, a plane or a train. With RidePost, every driver and passenger self selects into the trip – so if you don’t want to ride with another person you can choose not to. Every traveler on RidePost must have a profile that connects with their social media, so you will see ahead of time if you have mutual friends, so you know exactly who you are dealing with before you ever get into the car with another member. Plus – you will see real and verified reviews of other people’s prior trips. So just like on eBay or Amazon.com where you can see how a buyer or seller has performed in the past, you can make a decision about a person based on their reputation and what others have experienced with them.

3.) What about the craigslist crazies?

Our enemy is anonymity. We believe that you deserve to know as much as possible about the person you are transacting with, before agreeing to book or buy. For this reason, there is no place for anonymous transactions in a post Facebook world.

You should know ahead of time who you will be traveling with, and make a decision of whether or not that person seems interesting to you. Because the only thing more important than the destination when traveling, is the people you are traveling with.

4.) Ridesharing is for unemployed hippies only.

Not true. Today in Europe there are over 2 million people sharing rides every month. In the US we have more cars, and more miles being driven in single occupancy vehicles. As gas prices and costs of car ownership continue to rise, a record number of people are turning to alternative transportation to get to where they need to go.

These are not just unemployed hippies. They are educated young professionals and savy business people. In fact, one of our biggest feature requests has been for a way to signup via LinkedIn. This is coming from a growing number of professionals who may not have a Facebook account, but have a LinkedIn account and are looking to save some money. Hello Networking 101!

5.) I don’t want to be stiffed by my passengers who say they will pay me $30 for a ride, but when we get to our destination they amazingly “forgot” they don’t have any cash.

No worries my friend. Everyone of our trips are booked in advance (ideally >2 days in advance). When a passenger requests a ride with a driver, they already have verified their credit card. As soon as a driver accepts a ride request, the passenger’s credit card is charged. This way there is no awkward cash transaction or doubt about the person’s ability to pay.

6.) I have a job, so I don’t have time to ride with someone else.

Not true. If you need to travel on a business trip or are just looking for a way to be more efficient on the road, ridesharing may actually improve your travel productivity.

Think of it this way, instead of driving yourself or shuffling between airports, you can ride shotgun while another RidePoster drives. This way you can spend all of your travel time working, running your business from the road and being productive while leaving the driving to someone else. Not to mention you will save money on travel, up to 75% of business travel costs, by using RidePost. If you are smart enough to have that job of yours, you know any boss would be happy if you save her money.

We hope this helps answer some of your ridesharing questions. If it was helpful to you we ask that you please share it with your friends or network. Help spread the good word.

If you have more please email us anytime @ Hello@RidePost.com.

The RidePost Support Team

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The New RidePost

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To celebrate one year since launching RidePost we released an all new look to RidePost. Version 2 of RidePost takes into account an entire year worth of feedback and communication from our growing member base. Our goal was to address the challenges we hear the most and plan accordingly for continued future growth. Our major issues to address:

  • Focus on People: In order to eliminate anonymity in travel, we want to showcase our members. When finding a ride on RidePost you will know more about the person you are traveling with than if you would have been in a plane, a train or a bus. This now starts from the very first page.
  • Recurring Trips: Commuting sucks and finding a carpool is historically difficult because people’s schedules change for kids, weather, family etc. However, with the cost of daily commuting adding up (gas, maintenance, car payments, parking, tolls, etc) more people are using RidePost to find others in the area to match up and form a flexible carpool with to work or campus. After talking with many of our members we have a new way for people to post and find others nearby to join in a recurring ride.
  • Member Dashboard: All the information you need about past, current and future bookings is now available for you in your user dashboard.
  • Simple Landing Page: A landing page is like a front door. Click here to see our new front door: New Landing Page
  • Mobile Friendly: We see higher volumes of mobile traffic every week, so we made a big update here. More specific data and stats on this below.
  • Move One More Step Forward: We want to be the best in the world at solving transportation problems. So as we do with any decision, large or small, we worked on solutions to make RidePost better than we were the day before.

Here are a few of the highlights to the new RidePost and why they happened:

New Look: As a record number of people are looking for alternative transportation, one area we can have an impact is to remove anonymity from travel. We focused our redesign on people first. You will now see much more information about people and their reputation before deciding to accept or decline a booking.

Mobile Friendly: Many RidePosters loved the look and feel of RidePost since our launch (hat tip to the fine design team at KA+A for their help there). However there was one recurring theme: viewing RidePost on your phone was a challenge. To be honest, booking a trip on a smart phone before was about as fun as going to the DMV. Well we have taken a step forward on mobile, now you can find and book rides with ease on RidePost.com. We made the decision early on at RidePost to build web first for two main reasons:

  1. Web design and development was the strength of our team
  2. RidePost trips are meant to be booked in advance – similar to a bus, plane or train ticket

78% of our traffic still comes through desktop and laptop browsers, however what we realized over the last 6 months was a growing portion of our traffic is coming from mobile browsers. Our traffic today is 22% mobile – up from 15% just 6 months ago – and growing in both volume and proportion of our overall traffic. We knew that with any major development project, we would need to invest in our mobile site. As a result you will see a completely new experience on RidePost via your smartphone today.

New Features:

  • Commuting: We tested this with an MVP style hack on one of our private networks – thanks wufoo. While testing it, we had a higher number of conversions than expected, so we have now launched what we believe is the easiest way to find others looking for a flexible commute schedule.
  • Account Dashboard: Under “My Account” you can see the number of trips you have made, the number of RidePost events you have upvoted and how many people you have referred to RidePost – note: the more friends you refer to us, the more likely we are to send you free stuff :)
  • My Rides: A common ask from members was an easier way to view your past rides and future bookings. Now you will be able to view not only the rides you have posted, but any other ride you are a part of in the past and future.
  • Accounts: If you offer a ride to another RidePost member, now you can use that money toward your future travel. Kind of like free money for you. When you are ready to cash out, you can send the balance of your RidePost account straight to your bank account.
  • Ride Cancelation: Now if your plans change or you request a seat with someone by accident you can cancel your trip – self service. No more frantic chatting with our support team at 3am – although we love hearing from you anytime.
  • Store: We now have RidePost logo items available here: RidePostShop.com
  • It doesn’t stop there, we have more goodies throughout the site and more on the way.

How Did We Do It? 

We get asked this question alot so we thought we would answer it here. We did all our work internally. We have an amazing and talented team at RidePost and everyone had a big part in our updates. Special hat tip goes to Robert as he led the development and redesign.

Going Forward:

Exciting times at RidePost. We have exceeded our growth targets this summer and look forward to continuing to offer the best transportation tools for our growing member base.

Our Vision:

The RidePost Vision is to build the 4th Element of Public Transportation. A cost effective, safe and reliable network. We won’t get you around town, but we will get you out of town.

Thank you for being a part of our journey – we are just getting started.

The RidePost Team

The Summer Has Rocked, But SOO much more to come.

Road

The summer has rocked for us at RidePost.

First, we welcomed a record number of new members in June, then added another new record in July: and we are just getting started. August is shaping up to be another great month.

With that in mind we want to thank you for being with us along the journey so far.

One thing that really helps us grow is the feedback from our members (hopefully you). We take every suggestion to heart and work on improving RidePost based solely on member recommendations.

When we launched RidePost we had 100+ features we wanted to include in the initial launch, but thankfully we decided to stick with 5 core things that – just made it work. Since then, everything we add is driven by member only feedback. With that comes many improvements and updates.

In the coming months you will see and hear about some of these changes – wink wink. We think you will like some and probably will not recognize others. But as always – keep the feedback coming. Member only feedback is what drives us forward.

Also – we will be on the road quite a bit over the coming months (doing what we do best). If you would like us to stop and say hello while in your town, please let us know either on twitter @RidePost or in our contact form below.

And, if you would like to join the growing RidePoster Newsletter where we share early access and information with our members, you can sign up here: RidePoster Newsletter

Carry on!

Team RidePost

5 Tools for Startup Biz Dev

Hello everyone!

As a startup we are always looking for tools that help us to be most effective while we are small and focused on growth. A major part of my role is communicating with a large number of potential partners and customers from universities, businesses and the government to communicate what RidePost can do for them and bring them into the family. Forming and managing these relationships is hugely important and over time I have found tools that have made my life immensely easier. I hope that you can find them beneficial as well.

Rapportive

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This was a recent find for me but has been great. Rapportive is a free Gmail add-on for most major browsers (sorry Internet Explorer, but you suck). When you receive an email it pulls in relevant data from the Internet about the contact so you can see what they look like, where they are based, their work information as well as their activity on networks such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. It has allowed me to get much more context about the people I am communicating with and to immediately connect with them on their multiple networks. Plus its free – GET IT.

Pro Tip: When trying to cold email a contact and you are unsure of their exact email address, enter in all your possibilities. By hovering over the addresses, Rapportive will show you the profile of the correct address.

Boomerang for Gmail

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This is another add-on for Gmail in most browsers. Boomerang has two great features that I use religiously:

Send Later – Sometimes, I find myself cranking out messages in the middle of the night or on the weekend but I want to my recipients to receive at more optimal times. You can specify Boomerang to deliver the message at a certain date and time and it will sit in your drafts until its time to go.

Boomerang – A lot of early communication is knowing when to follow up with your contacts. People are busy and sometimes they notice your email but forget to get back to you. Boomerang’s naming feature allows you to get a reminder in your inbox after a specified period of time if your contact did not respond to your message. This has allowed me to send timely reminders to new contacts usually leading to immediate responses rather than them dropping off the face of the earth.

Contactually

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As a startup, we need streamlined customer and contact management tools that won’t cost an arm and a leg, or be weighed down by features we won’t ever use. Contactually has been the best tool to date. It attaches to your email account and imports all your contacts. You can then sort your contacts into “buckets” depending on the relationship you have with them and how often you want to maintain communication. They have a fun keyboard Bucket Game that allows you to quickly power through your contacts for sorting. After that they will send you routine reminders about who you should contact that day or week and give you statistics about your success in doing so.

They have a good trial program that allows you to test the features and their price point is great compared to other CRM tools. Plus they are a DC company run by some really cool folks –  they’ll be adding new and improved features over time.

LinkedIn

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Sometimes your biggest challenge is figuring out who you should even contact in the first place. I know everyone has heard of LinkedIn, but I think most people dont realize how useful it can be. Most business professionals have a profile on there so at the bare minimum, you can find if you have some common ground with your potential contact or have someone who can introduce you. Also, their advanced search is pretty solid about finding individuals from a given company, industry or alumni network.

Don’t be afraid to request to connect with someone in order to communicate with them further. Several times a year they also offer a free month to their premium plan so you can test it out before you buy.

Pro Tip: If you are on the free plan, use the short blurb space on the connect screen to let the person know why you are reaching out to them. I have been able to get access to people outside of my network by doing this and characterizing them as a Colleague in my current company (but keep it short and sweet!).

ClickMeeting

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When you find great contacts as a startup, you can’t afford to be everywhere all the time. For me it was crucial to find ways to engage people and pitch RidePost, even if we could not be there in person. I looked at the whole range of web conference and presentation tools and found ClickMeeting. Their User Interface is slick, they have presentation and document sharing tools, customizable templates to maintain your branding, audio and video worked with no problems, and the attendees for your web meetings do not have to download anything to make it work.

Try out their free trial to see if it will work for you. Even after that, their price points are immensely friendlier than other providers like GoToMeeting.

So these are my 5 primary tools to help you with sales and business development. Hope that you can find them as useful as I do! What tools do you use? Let me know in the coments!