Sunday, January 13, 2013

Goodbye Rideshare 2.0

Dear Friends and Commuters,

We regret to announce the company is out of fuel and we will temporarily be discontinuing service until further notice (or funds).  Rideshare 2.0 was our attempt to leverage social network + collaborative consumption to build a real-time mobile solution to reduce gridlock and pollution in Los Angeles and beyond.

Solutions in Europe such as and have succeeded in helping commuters save money and reduce carbon emissions.  In the U.S., 2013 is to be the earth shaking year for collaborative transportation as,,,, and have attracted serious investors. Please continue to follow us on twitter @rideshare20 as we work to promote disruptive technologies in transportation that do GOOD.

Very Best,

Thomas Pham
President and CEO of Rideshare, Inc.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mass Transit: Bus vs. Carpooling vs. Vanpooling

I'm a huge fan of Freakonomics as it disrupts conventional wisdom and reveals the truth to unseen patterns.

Due to the recent tragedy in New York with hurricane Sandy, Freakonomics highlighted the fact that New York has the smallest per-capita carbon footprint in the U.S. as subways and buses move 7 MM passengers a day.

Buses in NY are efficient, but in reality, they could be less efficient than driving alone in your car to work.  The truth is, an average bus in many American cities carry only 10 passengers.  In Los Angeles, many buses go empty.

An average vanpool carries 8-12 passengers and is the most efficient method of transportation as almost all seats are occupied less 1-2 seat empty per vanpool.

Vanpooling is a sustainable mass transit solution for cities without proper subways or the funds to afford a rail infrastructure.  In addition, vanpooling is flexible as the routes are dynamic and aligns with the movement of employers and jobs.

At Rideshare 2.0, we plan to crowdsource and build a collaborative vanpool network and fill those empty seats.  By helping vanpools maximize their efficiency and making it easier for drivers to start their own vanpools, we'll help make vanpooling the mass transit of the future.

Original Article

Monday, July 23, 2012

Entrepreneur vs. Founder

The word entrepreneur has its origin as a French word meaning to undertake a task.  Surprisingly, the French are credited with inventing many transportation related items: the first documented taxi, scooter, hot air balloon, bicycle, and many more in a time when things like that never existed before.

Currently the term entrepreneur is loosely coined.  Entrepreneurs are kids with their own lemonade stand at the corner to those who build successful companies off an idea on a piece of napkin into a public company with a billion dollar valuation.  VC Fred Wilson says an entrepreneur is a personality disorder you are born with.

There is a new term emerging in America, in Silicon Valley, that differentiates entrepreneurs to those who additionally recognize patterns and opportunities, those who have the intelligence, commitment and work ethics, those who are willing to make sacrifices and take calculated risks, and those who are passionate and visionary on an idea enough to execute, disrupt, and make a difference to the lives of millions of people.  These people a rare, we need them, and they are leaders and game changes who boldly venture into an unknown and untested business models.  Steve Blank refers to these entrepreneurs as those individuals searching for a profitable and scalable business model.  I call these individuals and companies Founders at Founder Institute.

Founder Institute helped me redefined my definition of an entrepreneur and instead, be a Founder.  Not many entrepreneurs are given more than one or two opportunities in their lifetime to build a meaningful business as costly mistakes, tunnel vision, and lack of knowledge can end an idea or opportunity that would have helped millions.  Founder Institute helped me validate and refined my idea.  I’ve made costly mistakes in the past when I was an entrepreneur and not a Founder.  Now that I’m a Founder, I have the proper education and training along with the tools, network, and confidence to compete, win and succeed in all my future endeavors.

I would like to thank Founder Institute for helping me recognize myself as a true Founder & Entrepreneur along with a burning passion (French) for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity during this Internet Revolution.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bill Ford Predicts Technology Will Break Global Gridlock

Bill Ford Predicts Technology Will Break Global Gridlock

To revisit Bill Ford's prediction of the future, there are many solutions today to break Global Gridlock:

1. Very well thought out solutions: 

2. A connected transportation system in Christ Murphy's article in Information Week:

3. Improve public transit as mentioned by Joel Epstein of the Huffington Post:

4. Work from home by Derek Kreindler:

Additional References:

1)      Nathan Bomey of USA Today -
2)      Will Oremus of -
3)      Caitlin Berens of Inc. –
4)      Ezra Klein of Washington Post -
5)      Ted Mann of WSJ -
6)      Darius Monsef of Tech Crunch -
7)      Alissa Walker of Good -
8)      Eric Savitz of Forbes -
9)      Marth Groves of LA Times -

Friday, July 6, 2012

Car-pooling Headlines NY Times

Thanks Mickey Meece for the article and awareness of "Carpooling" and "Ridesharing" and I'm sure your feelings resonate with MANY who do not or ever carpooled or rideshared before on a regular basis :-).

People have been safely carpooling for over 30 years in cities like San Francisco and Washington D.C.

The same sentiments on lack of recognition for the potential opportunity for social carpooling was seen with Caitlin Berens's article at Inc. (  As a society, we should encourage and promote a sustainable solution to prevent "Global Gridlock" as quote by Bill Ford in his TED speech.

David Burwell ( an excellent resource for sustainable transportation and any policies and grants making transportation more efficient and safe by a true advocate will help make these new disruptive transportation solutions work.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Climate Change Follow Up

In our Meet Rideshare series, our Environment post went into some detail about the Local Pollutants we hope Rideshare can reduce. However, I thought we skimped a bit on the Climate Change aspect of it. I thought we might go into a little more detail today about Rideshare’s climate impact and why, in a world where climate change is the first thought of many an environmentally conscious consumer, Rideshare is not playing up this aspect of its business more.

Rideshare is committed to being an environmentally responsible company, and to being a force for good in the world, while still returning a good profit for our investors. However, the reason we don’t play up the climate change aspect of our business more is simply because we cannot make the same impact on Climate Change as we can on Local Pollutants.

To understand why this is, recall from our earlier post that unlike Nitrous Oxides or Mercury, Carbon is not a local pollutant. That is, carbon emissions affect the whole planet, and in the exact same way and to the same degree, regardless of where they have been emitted from. Climate change is thus the sum of ALL carbon emissions from all over the planet. Although Rideshare’s service will indeed reduce carbon emissions just as it will reduce emissions of other pollutants, these reductions will not have the same impact as they would in the case of other pollutants. The climate change we experience is just as much a result of China’s emissions as of ours, and vice versa. While Rideshare will reduce the amount of carbon emissions in the city of Los Angeles considerably, that does the city of Los Angeles little good. It represents only a drop in the bucket of ALL the carbon emissions of the world, which is the only number that matters.

Nevertheless, no one should doubt that Rideshare does have a positive impact on climate change. Every gallon of gasoline we save by keeping a car at home reduces carbon emissions by roughly 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent. The best way to think about this might be to translate that figure into a dollar value. Currently several companies offer carbon offsets for roughly $10/short ton, or roughly $0.01 per gallon of gasoline. Each corporate commuter who leaves his own car in the garage and rides with someone else is saving roughly 3 gallons of gasoline a day on average(20 miles each trip plus idling delays). Divided evenly between the driver and the passenger, this translates to roughly $0.015 per day of carbon “benefits”. However, many experts have suggested that the market undervalues carbon offsets, because the United States does not currently cap carbon emissions. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, a more “socially responsible” carbon cost(i.e. one that accounts for all the negative externalities of carbon) would be $80/short ton, which would translate into daily benefits of $0.18 per member, or roughly $90 per year assuming they used our service regularly.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Car Savings

In discussing the potential savings from using our service, we have focused a lot on what a businessman would call “operational expenditures.” These are the expenses that are incurred on a day to day basis to carry out daily activities. Watching my own father get to work every day, though, I wonder if I missed out on a potential big savings that might be the biggest of all. This savings would be more properly characterized as a “capital expenditure”, or an expenditure of funds to procure something which will serve for a number of years.

Simple question: How many people, if they signed up for our service, could do with one less car in the family?

In a country with 308 million people in it, there are a little over 200 million cars and light trucks in operation. Given that roughly 60 million people in this country are too young to drive, and that there are a little over 24 million people who have a severe disability making it difficult or impossible to drive themselves, and just about everyone who can drive a car owns one. This will come as no surprise to California residents, who have probably seen every one of them during rush hour in Los Angeles. But given that fact, it seems logical that a high number of corporate commuters(who after all do not need to go anywhere except to and from work during the busiest times of day) own one of their cars solely for the purpose of getting themselves to and from work. If Rideshare could furnish a convenient and reasonably priced alternative to doing that, corporate commuters might be able to save on the costs of the car completely by not replacing the oldest car in their family when it dies. That would represent a major savings and an additional incentive to use our service.

So just how much would the average corporate commuter save if they had one less car in the garage?

Kelley Blue Book has the average price of a new car in 2011 around $30,000. Of course, not everyone buys cars new. But for everyone who buys a used car there is someone who sells one, and then has to replace it with a new one, so any reduction in the total demand for cars will ultimately find its way into the new car market. Now, not everyone who uses our service will reduce the number of cars in their family, obviously, but let’s take that number and calculate the savings for someone who does.

At current interest rates, interest expense for buyers with good credit are very low, so to reduce the math here and to be conservative with our estimates, we’ll set the interest cost at 0 and just use the purchase price. A five-year loan is most common, so that’s 60 months. A person who elected to forego a new car and its five year payment plan would save $500 a month in car payments. New cars need an oil change once every five months(the so called experts used to say three, now its five), which costs about $30. So that’s $6 more a month in oil changes. Figure a one-time tune-up when the car hit the 50,000 mile marker. Let’s be conservative again and say that’s only $500. Throw in new tires and new brakes once every couple of years, insurance for the extra vehicle. All told, you get something like this:

Car Payment $500
Oil Change $6
Tune-up(monthly distributed cost) $6.33
New tires(monthly distributed cost) $7.67
Brakes(monthly distributed cost) $5
Insurance $95

I made the new tires $460 and $300, since those are the conservative numbers for good quality of both, which new car buyers usually spring for. If our member foregoes the purchase of a used car, the car payment is lower, but the maintenance and repair costs are higher. So figure everyone comes to around $620 a month in car savings. That outweighs even the other savings we discussed in our Meet Rideshare series. While obviously not everyone will take advantage of these savings, the very high penetration of car ownership amongst possible buyers(upwards of 90% according to the data above) means that quite a few of them might. Add the cost of fuel and that number is around $8,000 a year or 15% - 25% of an individual's income for the cost of transportation.