Ride sharing

Ali Halabi is the founder of inner city ride sharing startup Volt. We’re investors in Volt and I wrote about their new launch last week.

Inner city ride sharing is a tough problem to solve, and Ali explains why in this post. The post was written after Waze, a mobile mapping and navigation app acquired by Google, announced that it will be entering the inner city ride sharing space in Tel Aviv through its new service RideWith. Volt is offering the same service in Istanbul.

In the post, Ali gives a good overview of the key players in the market while also explaining the important differences between car hailing companies like Uber and Lyft, intra city ride sharing companies like Blablacar, and inner city ride sharing companies like Volt and RideWith.

Basically, what Volt is attempting to do is the holy grail of ride sharing. This is because it matches passengers with drivers on existing journeys, thereby offering the lowest cost transportation option without adding any new cars onto the road.

The issue of the additional congestion created by car hailing services is the stated reason why cities like New York are looking to limit services like Uber. Although the attempt was unsuccessful this time around, it may resurface in the future. That said, the real reason for the attempted cap on Uber has more to do with the lobbying strength of the taxi industry which car hailing services look to replace than the additional traffic created by car hailing services.

However, in order to succeed in delivering the holy grail of the lowest cost transport alternative, Volt needs an active network of drivers sharing their existing journeys on the platform. We believe that gamification is the solution to this problem, and Ali expands on the reasons why in his post.