They may not get the same glory that the car does, but buses are an important vehicle in American culture. After all, buses are what people rely on for transportation to many defining moments: political rallies, championship games, music festivals, school outings, group travel to new places. Every year, the charter bus industry moves more than one billion people across the U.S., Canada, and Europe, generating upwards of $16 billion.
Yet, unlike cars, there have been no major technological advancements for organizing a bus trip. Features such as splitting a fare, watching a vehicle arrive in real time, or receiving a notification when there’s a
change in travel itinerary do not exist in the bus industry, which
is currently still run on pen and paper and legacy systems.
Sharethebus is a company in our Winter 2016 class that is finally bringing the bus industry into the digital age, making it quick and easy to organize a charter bus trip anytime, anywhere.
For passengers, Sharethebus lets its users quickly set up a bus trip and split the bill between any number of riders. SMS notifications are sent to travelers when the bus is on its way, arriving, and if the departure location is changed; and to provide expert help at any stage of the process.
For event organizers, Sharethebus provides a specialized dashboard to gauge demand for rides from various locations, and set up multiple bus trips to and from the event. It's an ideal way for organizers of everything from music festivals to corporate conferences to bring in more people and foster stronger community bonds among attendees.
Sharethebus is connected to a strong supplier network of bus companies across North America, whose buses spend an estimated 70% of their lifespan unused. These companies are eager to make their fleets more efficient and become more accessible and appreciated by a new generation of consumers. With its partners, Sharethebus has redesigned the entire customer journey from booking a bus online, to managing passengers, schedules, payments, and improving on a trip’s execution.In just 12 months of operations, Sharethebus has moved more than 50,000 people across 1,000 bus trips, and served more than 200 North American cities. Since launch, Sharethebus has maintained 25% month-over-month growth and worked in collaboration with large event partners including music festivals, colleges, student associations, and conferences.
Sharethebus was founded in by Wolf Kohlberg and Kyle Boulay. Wolf is a bus industry expert who founded a travel agency at 16 in Germany where he organized thousands of bus trips. After moving to North America, he partnered with Kyle Boulay, a designer turned developer who had built strong friendships on past bus trips to music events and was frustrated by the lack of simple solutions for organizing more.