The hottest ticket to the Women’s March on Washington is on the bus-sharing startup Skeddadle, which allows people to commission private bus rides and is trying to change the future of long-distance transportation.
Most of Skeddadle’s business comes from people scheduling events – going to ski resorts or music festivals for a weekend. It’s a social experience where passengers share rides with people who have similar interests. But Skeddadle sees itself as public transit of the future, and is building towards being the least expensive, most convenient way to get in or out of a city.
“The March is amazing and something we’re really proud of, but it’s only the beginning,” Adam Nestler, Co-founder and CEO of Skeddadle tells Inverse. Right now, the app builds routes once there are at least 10 people going to a specific place. From there, the company works with local transportation companies (mostly charter buses) to acquire the appropriate ride.
“We really see a different version of mass transportation in the future,” says Nestler. That vision includes most people ditching their cars, as Uber and self-driving cars become inexpensive to rent and use as public transit. The 11,000 people going to the Women’s March this weekend exemplifies part of Skeddadle’s vision. You have marchers coming from all over the all country, going to the same place on the same weekend with routes and pickup times specific to each passenger. The goal is to build the system of these sorts of trips until Skeddadle is equivalent to personalized mass-transportation.
This kind of personalization makes Skeddadle an ideal source of transportation for things like political rallies, which are generally being worked into the app’s plan for the next few years. “Before Nov 8th, we weren’t really too involved with political rallies,” Nestler says. “But now things have changed and I think we will see a lot of activity — on any side.”
The company is working on creating its end game, which is becoming the main source for public transportation over long distances. After the Women’s March on Washington this weekend, it is launching a new interface on the app that is more deeply connected to social networks. This allows Skeddadle to let its users know if their friends are going to a cool place for a weekend, helping you discover new places to go, which Nestler compares to the experience of discovering cool places he wants to stay on AirBnB.
In the long run, Nestler sees Skeddadle as a way to provide people with access and mobility that they wouldn’t have necessarily had before. In particular, he wants the app to be able to offer guaranteed trips anywhere based on the data they gathered on previous rides, to increase accessibility. What I’m most proud of for the march here is being able to give as many people voices as possible,” he says. “And move them when they wouldn’t have had a means to before.”