Meet Joseph Kopser.
Joseph is the CEO and co-founder of RideScout, a mobile application that helps users navigate cities more efficiently. After launching in Washington, DC in November 2013, RideScout is beginning to expand to other U.S. cities and has plans to make a big splash this spring, working out of incubator platform 1776. Joseph made some time to chat with FamousDC on how he plans on changing the way people travel.
1. How was the idea of RideScout born?
We figured out almost two years ago that as technology was creeping into transportation it was going to mean a lot of great things. Through technology, we realized that modes of transportation would become more accessible. I lived five miles from work and had so many options to get there, but I didn’t have a single place to compare time and cost. Every single day my world was changing, but there wasn’t a place to see all of my options.
2. What exactly does RideScout offer users?
RideScout is a technology platform that organizes public, private and social transportation options. We sort the information by mode, cost and time. It’s an aggregator of all of these different options, similar to Kayak. We put you in the center of the transportation universe.
We see ourselves differently from other apps. Gone are the days of needing to plan ahead or check multiple apps. RideScout shows you all your transportation options in one place so you can discover the best option and get going.
3. Are there any special features that make this application unique?
In the newest version of the application, you can take your phone and scroll around where you are, and you can select the specific bus you want to take, and it’ll let you know when that specific bus is coming. Also, we have a docking option where users will get a notification when a Capital Bikeshare spot is open for them to drop off their bike.
We also show calories for the walking and biking options as well, and there is a function that will alert users when they are arriving at their stop so that they don’t miss it.
4. Can you explain the ride sharing option?
There are two different forms – one where actual money is exchanged for the ride, like Sidecar, and another where two people who don’t know each other can share a ride. The second option brings together friends and colleagues going to the same place, or at least in the same direction, as determined on RideScout. Safety is maintained through Facebook so that you can look at people’s profiles and check if they are friends, work at the same company, or go to the same school.
5. What is the goal of RideScout?
RideScout was built by the people for the people. We are not trying to dictate the mode of transportation you use. I want people to use transportation apps, and we are not trying to replace car ownership. We are working to make people smarter with how they move around the city. We are going to help people by making their lives easier. We are going to be able to help the planet. We are going to take cars off the road and use resources more efficiently.