Local Ridesharing with a Big Heart

RideAustin is a non-profit ride share organization with the mission of making ride shares a community asset and an important part of the city’s transportation future. In addition to connecting drivers with riders, RideAustin harnesses the giving spirit of the local community by allowing users to round up their fare to the nearest dollar to donate to a local charity. The platform was rapidly introduced in 2016 when the major ride share companies, Uber and Lyft, stopped services in Austin.

Challenge

In March 2016, Uber and Lyft halted their ride share services in Austin leaving residents with limited transportation options and concerns about a resurgence in drunk driving in the city. RideAustin stepped up to serve the community and fill the ride share need by leveraging a non-profit business model. The organization approached Jackrabbit to create a ride-sharing app as quickly as possible using a code base from a different project. In a timeline of less than 6 weeks, Jackrabbit transformed the old code base into a new ride sharing platform that RideAustin quickly delivered to Austin residents at scale.

Services

  • Mobile development for iOS
  • Quality assurance and testing

Engagement

The RideAustin project was a huge undertaking given the 6 week timeline, but our team overcame a number of preliminary challenges to meet the launch deadline.Normally we recommend against using old code bases for new projects, but we made it work given RideAustin’s unique situation and the community’s need. Since Austin residents were looking for an immediate replacement for ride sharing services, we had to make sure that the product would go live on the App Store ready to scale and meet high demand from the very start.

Jackrabbit worked closely with RideAustin’s backend team and made valuable recommendations about how to optimize the data flow to reduce server load. We did this by helping them to change the communication mechanism used amongst riders, drivers, and the server. This would ensure that the app would not crash from high volume usage. To stay on top of the timeline, our developers even intuitively filled in design gaps when mockups weren’t as granular as they could be.

The RideAustin app launched successfully in Austin in June of 2016 with no major issues like app crashes or high impact software bugs. Today, RideAustin continues to be among the go-to ride sharing services in the city and remains the only non-profit ride sharing platform with a focus on employing community members at fair wages and giving back to local charities.

Product

The features of the RideAustin app include:

  • New driver onboarding to collect driver’s information
  • Rider onboarding for sign up and to add credit card information
  • Request a ride workflow which locates nearby cars, allows a rider to add pickup and drop-off location and to connect with driver
  • Driver’s workflow which includes map functionality, notification of next ride, address, directions, and visibility from rider’s view
  • Roundup which allows a rider to donate to the charity of their choice