Getting around Madison just got easier — and cheaper.
SnapRyde, the social car-sharing app where “rides happen at a lower cost” has recently expanded to the University of Wisconsin.
The 1,020 user app made by the students and for the students is a cheap and easy way that tailors to students needs by connecting riders and drivers that are heading in the same direction. It works as a ride-sharing, social networking, environmentally conscious and cheap way to get around campus.
The app pairs drivers and riders ahead in real-time based on their destination and is only available for students, Mayank Jain, president and CEO of SnapRyde said. Riders must be 18 years and older and drivers must be 21 and older with a valid license.
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The inspiration for SnapRyde came from Jain’s frustration as a car-less international student. He said since he didn’t have a car, he had a lot of difficulty getting around his campus, University of Texas-Arlington.
“Not every student will own a car. Just for basic groceries…we really faced a lot of problems. Either we take an Uber or other expensive drive sharing divebombs or depend on our friends [for rides],” Jain said. “[The founders] came up with the idea to connect everyone who needs a ride or are willing to give rides and eventually we ended up developing this app.”
Jain said the rides are almost 50 percent cheaper than Uber or Lyft at its minimum. On average, rides are $0.50 to $0.60 per mile. Uber and Lyft charge $0.90 per mile with a $.90 initial cost. With SnapRyde, there is not initial cost.
Because the app is meant for campus use, the average ride is between 6 to twenty miles. But, Jain said if two students are going to somewhere farther, such as Madison to Milwaukee, the app will accommodate that. Instead of paying upwards of $120 for an Uber or Lyft, the SnapRyde caps the price at $20 per ride.
“As compared to Uber or Lyft or any other commercial divebomb, [SnapRyde] is almost 50 percent cheaper at its minimum and as more and more people join the carpool, [the price] keeps going down,” Jain said.
SnapRyde launched at UT-Arlington in March of 2016 and has expanded to UT-Dallas and now, UW. Jain said the main reason for expanding to UW over other campuses is because this campus had the largest ride-sharing Facebook group.
Every campus has their own unofficial ride-sharing group where people post to find rides, Jain said. While doing research, the founders of SnapRyde found UW had the largest ride-sharing group.
“People really, really need rides,” Jain said. “There are few cars in UW…That’s a huge market.”
Not only is SnapRyde a ride-sharing app, it also works as a networking platform, Daniel Paramo, Business Development Director said.
Paramo used the example of an engineer and a communications major sharing a car. Together, they can innovate using their different educational backgrounds and create an idea just by sharing the same ride.
Additionally, anyone that wants to register as a driver will make 100 percent of the profit, Paramo said. Because SnapRyde is a student startup, they didn’t focus on making money. Drivers would also get money when they complete a certain amount of rides.
Moreover, SnapRyde serves as a way to reduce carbon emissions and be environmentally conscious, Paramo said.
Currently, Jain said they are working to expand within the Midwest, including UW-Milwaukee and University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.
“[SnapRyde] is definitely cheap, especially for students,” Jain said.