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New App 'RideScout' Aggregates Your Transportation Options

Is Bikeshare the fastest option? RideScout will let you know.
DDOT DC: http://www.flickr.com/photos/51922381@N08/4999066575
Is Bikeshare the fastest option? RideScout will let you know.

New technologies in the form of smartphone apps are changing personal transportation in Washington, especially among Millennials, who view their smartphones the way older generations looked at car keys. One startup has chosen D.C. as the place to launch the beta for its app.

Steve Carroll with RideScout showed off the app on his smartphone on busy Connecticut Avenue NW. It aggregates information from all its partners — showing you what's available near your current location.

"We've got three Car-to-Go options, a Metro train, a Sidecar driver, a Capital Bikeshare and several other transportation options," Carroll says.

The information at your fingertips can be sorted by cost and arrival time, anywhere in the city.

"If you bring people into D.C. in ridesharing and public transportation, once they get into the city without their cars, they are forced to make more efficient use of all alternative transportation that is here," Carroll says. "Imagine all those folks coming into town now, filling up the taxis, filling up the Car2Go's, and the ZipCar and the Capital Bikeshare and Metro, and making much better use of those assets."

Carroll says RideScout chose Washington to launch because of the many transportation options available — car sharing, ride sharing, bike sharing, public transit — and the District's changing demographics.

"My 15-year-old son doesn’t want a car. What he wants is a smartphone," he says. "They find freedom in this phone the way we found freedom in owning our first car. It’s a trend that works in our favor."

The RideScout teams hopes their app will help reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles on the road, currently accounting for about 70 percent of traffic.

But RideScout doesn't have everything covered yet — the startup hopes to add taxis to its menu next month.

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