NEW YORK – Owning a car in New York is often more trouble than it’s worth. But even the most happily car-free people occasionally find themselves trying to get somewhere with terrible public transportation options and prohibitive taxi costs.
That’s where charter bus booking startup Skedaddle hopes to find its niche.
The Boston-based company recently launched service in New York, offering affordable group bus travel.
“There’s this big trend for millennials to live without cars, but getting outside the city or getting to a weekend destination can be super difficult and expensive, and really inefficient,” Skedaddle co-founder and CEO Adam Nestler told Mashable.
That’s how he and his team came upon the idea of creating a single service that connects people who are headed to the same destination — and saves them money.
“You have all these people going to the same destinations,” he said. “Why can’t we have a platform that connect them to each other.”
Anyone can start a route — say from midtown Manhattan to Fire Island for the weekend — and then make it public so others looking for the same trip can join. In order to motivate new users, Skedaddle offers the first five people a ride for just $5.
“We incentivize people to join early,” he said. “Once 15 people join, the bus will depart.”
Of course, there are other bus options to popular beach destinations.
NYC Beach Bus, for example, expanded service this summer to popular destinations like Fire Island and Jones Beach. And for closer beaches, like Coney Island and Rockaway, there’s still the subway.
Nestler says the social aspect of Skedaddle puts it ahead, though.
“A big piece of this is making something social and fun,” he said. “It means your travel for the weekend isn’t sitting alone in traffic for hours. We want this to be really cheap, affordable, really convenient, comfortable – and we think we can also offer a better experience.”
The service also allows people to start private routes, Nestler said, so groups of friends can arrange transportation to events like weddings or private parties.
Some of the popular routes go from New York to Fire Island and Bay Shore, and from Boston to Ipswich and Barnstable.