Innovation That Matters

Facilitating cab shares to the airport

Work & Lifestyle

Everyone loves New York, except for when they have to take a cab to or from the airport and it ends up costing almost as much as airfare. Which is why smart New Yorkers are starting to plan their airport commutes via Founded by New York attorney Terry Crawford and wife Gloria, is a combination of a social networking and a ride matching site. Hitchsters’ software connects travelers scheduled on the same flight and living in the same area of the city so they can save money by sharing a taxi. Customers can also specify their preference for a male or female co-rider and make a new social connection. Would-be co-riders enter their first name, cell phone number, cellular carrier and email address into the Hitchsters’ system. Hitchsters makes the match and facilitates a cell phone number and email exchange so co-riders can coordinate their trip to the airport. No information other than cell phone number and email is ever revealed to the co-rider, and Hitchster maintains a database of cell phone numbers as a security precaution. The company has a few rules: customers must be over the age of eighteen and the first person to get dropped off pays 60% of the fare and tolls to make sure the second rider doesn’t get stiffed for the tip. Hitchsters suggests rock paper scissors to minimize arguments over who gets out first. Customers who stand up other riders risk being banned from the system. Currently, Hitchsters is in beta in New York, and scheduled to launch soon in Brooklyn and Boston. The service is free, but the Crawfords hope to generate revenue by attracting advertisers to the site. Hitchsters isn’t affiliated with taxi companies, but enterprising entrepreneurs in cities around the world may find opportunities to create partnerships with one or more cab operators or car services. Also consider the opportunities for busy singles to fit in some low risk speed dating, and the eco-angle. Spotted by: Nawel Khelil



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