(That’s the first rule of a startup satisfied – use them buzz words liberally… )
So I’ve been travelling to and from the Sydney domestic and international terminals lately. (Side note: Did you know they now add a $3.00 surcharge right off the bat if you take a cab from the airport? Why? I have no idea. It’s not like the cabbies didn’t hang out there before the surcharge….) Anyways, I always travel alone, and usually with minimal luggage. The last time I was waiting in line, it was taking forever. When I got to the taxi bay, one of them giant Toyota Tarago cabs stopped for me. It felt like such a waste, and I was willing to wait and let a family take it, but the queue co-ordinator and taxi driver insisted that I get in. So I did. But before I slid the door shut, there was a moment I almost yelled out to the line ‘Anyone wanna share? I’m headed to Maroubra’. I didn’t. Instead I started fantasising about carrying a cardboard with me next time I travel, holding it up with where I’m headed scribbled on it the next time I’m in a taxi queue.
And that’s basically the idea. A mobile app where we can locate people in our immediate vicinity who want to share transport straight away. Without having to yell and looking like a complete loon. I wouldn’t limit it to taxis – makes sense to extend it to private modes of transport as well. I’d be happy to pick someone up from the airport on my way back from sending someone off.
Thinking the best way to do it would be to integrate it somehow with one of those location services already out there – Foursquare, Gowalla etc – and give people the added pooling option if so required. Having said that, it could be stand alone. You only really need to use it at the moment you need transport.
Also I’d leave the cost splitting options to the parties involved. They’re adults, they can sort it out.
Haven’t thought of monetisation though… I’m sure it’ll come to me if I mull on it, but the main benefits are obvious – save money and possibly time, reduce traffic on the roads, and a potentially positive contribution to the environment.
Whaddya think? Is there anything like it out there already? Would you get into a taxi with a stranger?