hitchhike

This startup is Making it Socially Acceptable to Hitchhike Again

Wheeli, the web app that connects drivers with passengers to go on adventures.

If you don’t live under a rock then the chances are that you’ve heard of the companies Uber and Lyft. You’ve probably even used them a few times (or a lot more than a few times) to get back home after a late night at the bar—I’m not here to judge. However, you may not have heard of the New York City based startup, Wheeli. This exciting new platform for facilitating unforgettable memories, or rather “The Journey In Between” is more than a ride sharing application. It’s a web app that connects people searching for a ride with people looking to make some extra cash using their car. This bold startup is making hitchhiking socially acceptable in this digital age.

Now that I’ve given you some background info, I’ll get into what makes Wheeli a startup to keep an eye on.

Safe

If you’ve had the opportunity to spend some time in Europe, then you may be familiar with the successful ride sharing service Bla Bla Car. This model works in Europe, it must be able to succeed in the U.S., right? Not exactly. Given the prospect of hitchhiking, the American culture is one of considerable skepticism and caution. Ever been told “don’t talk to strangers” as a child? Wheeli has countered our cultural fear in several ways.

First, it is exclusive to college students—you must have a valid .edu email address to sign up. Second, you can carefully select whatever drivers or passengers you want to connect with on the road. Have an eerie feeling about that creepy guy from your marketing class? Feel free to curve him and select a different ride. Next, you can regulate your experience by using filters—women only, no smoking, etc. Finally, Wheeli facilitates all payments avoiding the sometimes problematic in-person cash exchange—no need to put your passenger in a head lock for that gas money they promised you…

Affordable

Getting home for the weekend to visit your family can be expensive due to transportation costs. If you’re driving, gas prices alone can be a deterrent to make the trip. Other options, such as trains or buses, aren’t all that economically sound, either. Wheeli does a good job providing value to users by crowdsourcing rides. By connecting multiple people heading to the same destination, passengers are able to split costs they would otherwise have to shoulder alone.

Fun

Life is too short to have another dull experience. With Wheeli, you never need to endure a boring ride again-- crazy, interesting, startling, exhilarating— but never boring. If you’re going to be in the car for 30 minutes or more, you might as well have a good time while doing so. Wheeli brings friends and/or complete strangers together who have shared interests to venture off to the hottest events in their region. Events such as sports games and concerts to comedy shows and more! Wheeli enables you to filter your search to match you with others that meet your approval so you won’t have to endure an hour long ride listening to music you hate. Not only will you attend an unforgettable event, the friends and experiences made in transit will be memorable, as well.

As you can gather, Wheeli is a customer centric startup that offers users complete control of their commuting experiences. So next time you are searching for a ride home for winter break, planning to attend the hottest concert of the summer, or looking to go on an adventure with some cool new people, remember to #TripOnWheeli.