We are excited to welcome Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation as a new carrier to the RidePal fleet. Bauer’s IT is a leading provider of sustainable, luxury ground transportation in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles, and we are happy to welcome them to the family. Bauer has been a great innovator in this space and already has a lot of experience with corporate commuting programs. It was an easy choice.
Mark Melville, RidePal’s CTO and Head of Operations notes ‘We are especially thrilled with Bauer’s IT’s focus on sustainable fuel solutions, their large selection of beautiful buses, and their high standards of performance.’
The Bay area is booming, but the transportation infrastructure has not kept up, and “there are simply too many of us driving solo to work”, notes this article in the San Jose Mercury News.
We could soon encounter ”terminal gridlock” like the kind that occurred in Beijing six years ago when commuters were trapped in their cars for days.
If you take a RidePal service to work, you can catch up on email, read a magazine, grab a nap… and arrive at work relaxed and ready for the day. You will also help others, as just one RidePal bus can take over 40 cars off the roads. Pass the word – we all win if people leave their cars at home, and commuting with RidePal is a great way to do so.
Thibaud is RidePal’s original front-end engineer. He is responsible for all of our web interfaces including internal tools developed for customer support. In his words, he likes “making the website better for users and helping people have the best experience possible.”
He graduated with a bachelor in math and physics from the University of Technology of Belfort (France) and a master in computer science from SUPINFO International University. (When you’re calculating tip on those large bar tabs, Thibaud’s your man.)
Thibaud was introduced to RidePal through the French Connection, and his easy-going, user-focused approach, straight talk, and openness paired with his web development skills made hiring him an easy choice.
We hypothesize that he outsources home chores to his dog Thomas as whenever the poor creature makes it to the office, he needs the entire day to recover.
His favorite mode of transportation is his longboard (ˈlôNG ˌbôrd, noun type of long skateboard). In fact, his sole criterium for a good time seems to be that it include a board of some kind; he also surfs, kitesurfs, and snowboards.
Major Achievement at RidePal: President Award in 2012!
Every year, RidePal recognizes the employee or team that went out of their way to make the biggest difference. We go out of our way to say thank you. We had a branded surfboard custom-made for him by Mark’s brother.
Trivia: his hometown is Souffelweyersheim. Achoo!
RidePal Launches Shared Commute-Bus Services to Fremont, San Mateo, Mountain View and Menlo Park, Adding 3 More Routes to Their Growing Network
RidePal Inc. announced today they have started three new direct, commute-bus services serving commuters from the east Bay, San Francisco and the peninsula.
Employees of any company can now enjoy a direct ride to work on luxury, wifi-enabled buses. Their company can choose to subsidize rides at any level from 0% to 100%, while employees can use dollars from pretax spending programs to pay for their rides.
RidePal’s unique shared model means any company can extend their recruiting range, reduce employee turnover, increase employee productivity – and reduce their parking and carbon footprints. Since riders from several companies share the same bus, any one company does not have to support the entire cost: each company or rider pays only their share of the costs incurred.
Nathalie Criou, CEO of RidePal, said: “We are delighted to add these new destinations to our network. Many commuters to these cities don’t have a viable public-transit option, so are forced to take their cars. Now they have a relaxing, productive alternative to a stressful drive to work”.
These new daily services were driven by demand from RidePal’s corporate customers and their employees, and provide the following options:
Oakland to Mountain View
Oakland to Menlo Park
Fremont to Mountain View
Fremont to Menlo Park
San Francisco to San Mateo
San Francisco to Fremont
San Mateo to Fremont
Tri-Valley area to Mountain View
Tri-Valley area to Menlo Park
RidePal will be further expanding its network of services over the coming months.
As we continue to grow our team, we thought it would be fun to begin introducing the folks involved in keeping those RidePal buses running on time. First up in our “Meet the Team” series…
Forrest Hanson, Chief of Staff
Forrest juggles a lot of things at RidePal, handling everything from investor relations, internal operations, and the development of internal processes for our accounting, bookkeeping, HR, and facilities functions. Incredibly resourceful and a fantastic communicator, he also enjoys and excels at finding elegant solutions to complex problems. He also makes a mean Sex on the
We first crossed paths with Forrest while he was an associate at Greenstart — an early RidePal investor — recruiting and doing due diligence on potential investments. He recently moved to SF from Brooklyn, where he worked for a travel magazine, in search of a job “in sustainability”. (He’d previously co-managed the Big Green Bus, so joining RidePal brought things full circle in the truest sense of the word.)
Forrest is a Denver native and Dartmouth College alum, having graduated with an AB in History. A career in transforming transportation was a clear natural path. He still hasn’t decided which he likes more — cooking or eating — although he’ll argue to the death that turducken is the perfect main course, much to the dismay of our French co-founder. He is also an avid runner, surfer, and concert-goer, and his favorite mode of transportation is his commuter bike, Carlotta.
His proudest RidePal moment to-date was the production and release of our first instructional video which he starred in.
RidePal announces a $3.2M Series A Round led by Claremont Creek Ventures and Volvo Group Venture Capital
RidePal, a provider of convenient, comfortable, Wi-Fi-enabled bus rides for corporate employees, today announced a $3.2m Series A financing round led by Claremont Creek Ventures and Volvo Group Venture Capital.
RidePal balances commuter preferences and their employers’ needs and optimizes pick-up points and route scheduling. RidePal provides rides for the employees of more than 30 companies, and delivers happy and relaxed workers to their place of business and saves commuters’ time every week.
“RidePal has completely changed my commute and has provided me with 10 more hours of productivity per week,” says Sophie McCallum, Director of Operations at Clinovo.
RidePal’s corporate customers range from large corporations such as Intuit and Groupon to smaller ventures including biotech startup Clinovo.
RidePal currently provides daily direct commute services between 11 cities around the San Francisco Bay including the recently announced bus service between San Francisco and Palo Alto. The Mayor of Palo Alto, Gregory Scharff, said at the Palo Alto announcement event, “Traffic is the main impediment for expansion. This service takes cars off the road and allows for more growth.”
RidePal engages the buses of partners including Black Tie Transportation and Bauer Transportation.
Nathalie Criou, RidePal CEO and co-founder, said: “We have seen tremendous growth in the last few months, due to the word of mouth communications by our happy users. We are excited to work with Claremont Creek Ventures and Volvo Group Venture Capital as their insights and domain expertise will prove immensely valuable in expanding our services.”
Nat Goldhaber, Managing Director of Claremont Creek Ventures believes RidePal is solving a worldwide problem. “Every work day millions of people unnecessarily suffer through a long, frustrating twice-daily commute. A commuter strategy is necessary for companies to attract top talent and keep employees committed. RidePal solves these challenges. RidePal is life-changing for its users, and enables efficient commuter management for participating companies,” Goldhaber added.
Jonas Landstrom, Head of Americas at Volvo Group Venture Capital, commented, “Volvo is excited to partner with RidePal. Mobility solutions in urban areas are a focus area for Volvo Group going forward and RidePal responds in an innovative way to an acute global need. We look forward to leveraging the strengths of both organizations to contribute to better commutes globally.”
RidePal provides managed commute-bus solutions for corporate employees. With RidePal, commuters enjoy a swift, comfortable, relaxing and productive ride to work, and companies provide a valuable employee benefit, reduce their carbon footprint, and extend their recruiting range. RidePal’s solution imposes minimal management overhead on companies, yet feels like an in-house solution to its riders, all for a fraction of the cost of driving or of operating an entire fleet of buses. Large companies with an existing bus service can also reduce their overhead and cut costs by having RidePal manage their program. RidePal was founded in 2011 and is based in San Francisco, Ca. For more details please visit www.ridepal.com.
About Claremont Creek Ventures
Claremont Creek Ventures (CCV) is a seed and early stage venture firm. CCV invests in companies that serve essential, broad-impact industries – including healthcare and energy – with innovative digital solutions that can increase operational efficiency and/or create high-growth, high-margin businesses. Many established companies in these market sectors have not fully capitalized on tools and tactics that enable distributed intelligence, large-data analytics, personalization, and web- and mobile-based business models. CCV portfolio companies deliver products and services to help these sectors benefit from the greater speed, lower costs, increased precision, and creative potential of digitization. As part of our investment strategy, the firm utilizes its proprietary life-cycle venturing program and partners with entrepreneurs and institutions, including UC Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore Labs, Stanford University and UC Davis. Claremont Creek Ventures has more than $300 million in capital under management in two funds. For more information, visit www.claremontcreek.com.
About Volvo Group Venture Capital
Volvo Group Venture Capital makes venture capital and growth equity investments within the transport industry. Our mission is to drive new business growth and to be a leading corporate investor in sustainable transport and infrastructure solutions.
September marked the beginning of our partnership with Groupon’s Palo Alto office, and last Wednesday we gathered with Mayor Gregory Scharff, the mayor of Palo Alto, and Chris Brey, Groupon’s Senior Manager, Facilities, to celebrate.
From Groupon’s perspective, going with RidePal was a no-brainer. “RidePal’s shared model allows us to lower our costs while offering a superior commute option to our employees,” said Brey. “We welcome this new service and it’ll be exciting to see other local companies participate as well.”
The new service — Route 31 — makes stops in Palo Alto at the Page Mill and Hansen Way and the Groupon offices. It also services Mountain View, mirroring stops made by Route 11. You can check out the exact schedule here.
You can read more about the event from Palo Alto Online.
The Palo Alto Weekly noted the banter between RidePal CEO Nat Criou, and Palo Alto Mayor Gregory Scharff, on the subject of war and peace at the recent launch of our latest service:
Today is a big day for RidePal users as we have just launched a new Profile page that allows them to upload pictures of cats. OK, maybe this is not the most salient benefit of the release….
The Profile page is where users go if they want to make changes to anything that concerns their commute or their personal information. For example, Riders who have changed the location of their job can update their work address. This is also where users specify exactly what alerts and notifications they want to receive.
Designed with direct input from Riders, the new interface is more usable, and now explains clearly how to use an existing Clipper (TM) as a RidePass, and how Riders can use Commuter Checks for payment.
Today RidePal Inc. announced they have added commute-bus services between San Francisco and Palo Alto to their Commuting Service program. Companies of any size in the area can now offer the same commuting benefits as their largest competitors, in business-class, wifi-enabled buses.
This new RidePal service is open to anyone, and provides a direct, daily commute between the Marina, Pacific Heights, Hayes Valley, Mission/Noe Valley and Glen Park neighborhoods in San Francisco, and the Page Mill/Park Boulevard areas of Palo Alto.
Gregory Scharff,(Mayor of Palo Alto), Nathalie Criou (CEO of RidePal) and Chris Brey (Senior Manager, Facilities for Groupon) launch RidePal’s new service.
“Palo Alto is a hotbed of fast-growing companies and innovative startups who need to hire the best talent available to succeed,” noted Gregory Scharff, Mayor of Palo Alto. “With RidePal, they can attract and retain the creative entrepreneurial people they need to grow their companies, while reducing the traffic and carbon footprints from commuting. We are pleased to welcome this first RidePal service and look forward to a rapid expansion of services in Palo Alto.”
“RidePal’s shared model allows us to lower our costs while offering a superior commute option to our employees,” said Chris Brey, Senior Manager, Facilities at Groupon. “We welcome this new service and it’ll be exciting to see other local companies participate as well.”
RidePal’s unique shared model means any company can extend their recruiting range, retain existing employees, and offer a valuable employee benefit. Since Riders from many companies share the same bus, any one company does not have to support the entire cost: each company or Rider pays only for the rides they need. This allows both organizations and their employees to enjoy more flexibility at a fraction of the cost of running a traditional program. Stephanie Kerebel, one of the first Google Transportation Program Managers, notes that: “Commuting shuttles are key to recruiting top talent”.
RidePal buses pick up Riders at several convenient locations then go directly to their work location, where there are several closely located dropoff locations. RidePal pickup and dropoff locations and times are driven by Rider demand – each Rider enters their home location and preferred travel times at RidePal’s website, and the system then analyzes the data to produce the optimum route. Nathalie Criou, RidePal’s CEO, commented: “We want our Riders to have at most a 15-minute walk to get to our pickup points. We also provide bike racks on the buses, so Riders can go by bike to the pickup and then take it with them to work. Riders can also obtain real-time information or automated alerts to their cell phones.
Riders add rides to their account from a choice of a monthly RidePass, a 10-Ride Pass, or a one-day Pass at RidePal’s website. RidePal fares qualify for pre-tax spending dollars in programs such as WageWorks or CommuterChecks, and any employer subsidy may also have tax advantages. RidePal fares are comparable with the cost of the public-transit alternatives, and cheaper than the cost of driving.
Nathalie Criou, CEO of RidePal, added: “We started our first bus to Mountain View 18 months ago, and now Riders at many local companies choose to take one of our daily services between San Francisco, Dublin/Pleasanton, the Peninsula and the South Bay. Bay-Area companies value being able to offer commuter benefits to their employees without having to run their own bus services, especially when competing against the largest local companies for top talent. We also see strong demand from employees themselves, who welcome an alternative to driving and are our fastest-growing source of new riders.”
RidePal will continue to expand its network of routes over the coming months.