Image source:
Problem summary:
Existing urban transit options are all some combination of inefficient, unpleasant, or expensive. As part of a course at the Stuart School of Business focused on business model development and entrepreneurship, we wondered if a modern re-examination of the topic might yield a new business opportunity.
Strategist/design planner
Project timeframe:
Partial-semester (6 weeks)
Max Talbot-Minkin, Sangkyun Park, Chi-Tsung Li
Key insights:
1.Sharing services are more mainstream and socially-acceptable options when they save money or are environmentally responsible, particularly without requiring significant sacrifice from users. 
2. Modern taxi and bus services must maintain significant extra system-wide capacity in order to provide service when and where needed. Thus, high levels of utilization and efficiency are difficult to achieve.
3. Payment, particularly by credit card, can take a significant amount of time, further decreasing operational efficiencies while also frustrating users and drivers alike.
Business and design concept:
We developed and refined a business model for a cashless, shared-ride car service where all rides and payments are arranged via the internet or mobile devices. This allows for higher profits through greater efficiencies while providing a safer, cleaner, and faster service to customers.
The NixieRide strategy canvas: most of the advantages of a car service at prices closer to public transit rate with efficiencies and customer experiences that are superior to both.
At its core, NixieRide is a car service, and not a taxi service. This means that we are able to greatly reduce our overhead by not having to pay for city-issued tax medallions which can go for as much as a million dollars in some markets. That is only the first in many efficiency improvements that allow us to minimize overhead. All of our rides are arranged ahead of time, though that may be as short as five minutes, and all are routing is done in response to real or algorithmically predicted demand. All of rides are arranged via the NixiRide website or mobile app. This allows us to minimize personnel costs while providing quick and responsive service to our customers.

As all booking is done electronically, we can route-planning technologies developed for delivery vehicles, provided by our strategic partners, to allow us to provide a shared-ride service. Combining that with real- time traffic information and automatic updates from our drivers’ smartphone app platform, we can be sure that our drivers are routed along the best path at any given time. This should allow us to more than make up for any time lost providing shared rides while saving fuel as well.
Electronic payments enable us to reduce in-car transaction times to zero, eliminating time lost to cash exchanges or the slow process of in-car credit card processing, if it is even available. Furthermore, using only electronic payments eliminates the need for drivers and passengers to carry cash. This makes for a much safer experience for drivers and passengers alike.

All together, these advantages mean that we can greatly increase our vehicle occupancy rates and thus dramatically boost revenues while still offering dramatic discounts to passengers while providing them with service that is safer and more enjoyable than a taxi or a bus. 
Back to Top