Last Updated on July 31, 2018
To launch our new hub of inspirational and informative stories from the travel & transport world, our CEO and co-founder Rod Bishop is here to tell us a little bit more about how Jayride.com came into being, and what his dreams and visions are for the future.
It’s safe to say that I love transport. Specifically, ground passenger transport: shuttles, coaches, rideshares, transfers, and the like. And not just getting from A to B, but how to make getting from A to B completely seamless and stress-free.
Every one of us has a story about a nightmare travel journey – delays, missed pick-ups, missed flights, anxiety while sitting stuck in traffic… In travel, mistakes happen. For other types of travel, they can self-correct; after all, the hotel will still be there even if you’re late. For transport, not so much: buses, drivers, connecting flights – they don’t wait forever. In transport, getting it right is crucial.
Within the transport industry, getting it right every time is hard. Transport systems are often old, designs from a bygone era. In this modern world of internet-connected everything, there are now simply too many seams within transport, too many areas where mistakes can occur.
I believe we can create a future where transport works seamlessly for the traveller.
Where it all began
My transport story really began while I was working days at the same time as studying evenings for my degree; I was commuting three hours a day to get between studies and work. This wasted time not only costed me effort, but it created stress for no good reason. I’ve always thought sustainability was smart, but it was at this point that I realised transport wasn’t working.
So, I started working with The Ridesharing Institute, an NGO focused on finding alternative solutions for the transport problems that cities face, with the founding concept that there need to be fewer vehicles on the road. The Ridesharing Institute taught me how cities are built and how many vehicles can fit down which routes, at peak times. What I learned is that cities are not built for how people want to live. The solutions The Ridesharing Institute puts forward use community operated high-occupancy vehicles as a complement to state-owned public transport. Higher occupancy creates less congestion, which creates nicer cities to live in.
With these lessons learned, I started my own community forum for hitch-hiking travellers. It was a very simple Web 1.0 product, but it taught me another truth: travellers are always seeking information on how to get somewhere. For commuters, this was easy – it was ‘set and forget’. But for the traveller who is not well-served by public transport, something had to change.
Could this be the start of something big?
It was while running the ridesharing network that I met Ross Lin, a senior e-commerce and geospatial engineer. Ross is passionate about creating the most efficient systems, and transport is without a doubt a system that is full of wasted effort. We talked transport at length, and knew that together we could make something happen, to help travellers make informed decisions about transport and get where they needed to be.
However, then, as now, there is no definitive standard, no ‘source of truth’ for what transport services are available for the traveller. We realised that we had to create one.
The vision comes to life
We launched Jayride.com in January 2012 as a marketplace for ground passenger transport, a one-stop-shop where the traveller could compare their transport options; from shared shuttle buses, to private transfers and long-distance coaches and the like – creating the first definitive source of transport services available for the traveller; the first place for the traveller to compare transport services and get to where they needed to be.
By 2013, we’d added features for travellers to pre-book to the website; transport companies and travellers alike both liked the simplicity. By 2014, we’d begun to grow around the world, from Australia and New Zealand, to the United Kingdom and Ireland. And in 2015, we launched in the USA, where we now provide services at every major and minor airport for more travellers than in all of our other regions combined.
Today, Jayride.com focuses on providing the best search and booking system for private transfer and shared shuttle companies that take travellers between airports and their chosen destination, wherever that may be. We focus on the traveller experience, intending to streamline how travellers communicate with drivers and dispatchers in the best way we can.
The key to our success is that our technology has been built from the ground up for how transfer companies actually work. Added to that is the fact that we directly connect every traveller to every transfer company, and then get out of the way. That means that every transfer company gets everything they need in order to provide a great service, and every traveller gets the ability to directly contact their transfer company. We believe that this is the foundation to creating seamless transport experiences: correct service information, correct prices every time, tools to come together for successful pick-ups, and the ability to do it all, seamlessly online, and with a consistent experience no matter where you are in the world.
We’ve come a long way on our journey, and we have a long way yet to go to provide truly seamless transport for travellers all over the world. I’m proud of what the company has achieved so far, and I’m certain we’ll continue to grow and be a champion for the traveller in many new ways, and many new places, in the years to come.
Transport for the future
The future of transport is an exciting place. In the future, you’ll leave your house in the morning without even having considered any means of transport, and it’ll just be there for you. Your phone, the cloud, artificial intelligence, and responsive network design will simply make it happen. It will be communicated to you seamlessly, and you won’t even have to think about it.
In that world, Jayride.com will be a part of the fabric – seamlessly passing information and communication between the traveller and the transport service. Our role is to be a champion for the transport industry in this world, and in so doing, to have a meaningful impact in the way travellers and transport providers are connected across the globe.
I want better passenger transport, for more people. With that in mind, here at Jayride.com, we’ll work every day to help even more passengers travel seamlessly, and will continue to do so until our mission is complete.
For us, better living starts with better mobility, and we’re here to help make it happen.
We look forward to travelling with you soon.