The Ride Sharing App & Loyalty Program Encouraging Public Transit

Hytch is a ride sharing app that works like a loyalty program, giving rewards to riders that share miles or ride public transit.

Through a new loyalty program partnership with WeGo Public Transit, Hytch, Nissan and others are rewarding ride sharing app users who take public transit in the Nashville region with transit rewards.

The concept of loyalty program probably brings coffee shops and other businesses to mind, not public transit providers. But Nashville-based Hytch is a ride sharing mobile app that encourages people to ride together by offering incentives to users that share rides with people they know — using any form of transportation, including public transit.

Hytch just announced app riders throughout Tennessee will earn at least a penny per shared mile ride sharing through a sponsorship by Nissan and a loyalty program partnership with WeGo Public Transit, Music City Star and the Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee. In heavily traffic congested areas, like Nashville Hytch riders can earn additional cash rewards from multiple sponsors.

The app highlights users’ phone contacts, and when Hytch users end their shared rides in sponsored areas, they earn cash rewards through the app. Each time a Hytch user takes a bus or train, they also earn rewards for shared miles that appear as “Trees Saved.”

Start-Up Mobility App Gaining Traction

Since Hytch’s February 2018 launch, the community has acquired more than 7,500 users nationwide. Riders that use the app earn cash rewards when riding WeGo buses, like the Circuit, and access Regional Transportation Authority services. Hytch riders can redeem rewards via PayPal (once their balance is reaches $10), and they can choose how to spend their earned rewards.

This is just another example of how, through improving the customer experience, we are striving to improve quality of life for everyone in Middle Tennessee,” CEO of WeGo Public Transit Steve Bland said. “By rewarding customers for responsible travel behavior, we are saying we care for our community. Multi-modal transportation is becoming more important every day to address the traffic congestion we all face as Middle Tennessee continues to grow. Carpooling, transit use, bicycles and pedestrian activities are all vitally important to finding mobility solutions that work for everyone.”

Hytch CEO and co-founder Mark Cleveland added that the innovative incentive targeting multimodal transportation is “motivating the rapid adoption of a responsible commuting culture.”

The company reported in a press release about the loyalty program partnership that by riding together, Hytch users have saved the carbon emissions equivalent of more than 65,000 trees. Hytch users share an average of 25,000 miles per day on Tennessee roadways, totaling more three million shared miles year-to-date.

See how Hytch rewards work in the slideshare:

Uber and Lyft also have loyalty programs in partnerships with credit card sponsors, hotel chains and other businesses.

Carbon Emissions Goals Support Reducing Traffic Congestion

The ethos of this start-up is driven by carbon emissions reductions, and the numbers reflect the efficacy of rewarding loyal riders and creating partnerships with transportation agencies toward that goal. For local governments dealing with traffic congestion issues, ride sharing is critical, and those numbers are in the millions.

About Hytch

Hytch is a Nashville-based social impact technology company that rewards people to lower carbon emissions, protect clean air and reduce traffic congestion through logging their shared commutes with the Hytch Rewards platform. Hytch received a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Hytch also earned the Nashville Technology Council’s Emerging Company of the Year, the Tennessee Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award and recently, the Sustainable Transportation Award presented by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

About WeGo Public Transit and Regional Transportation Authority

WeGo Public Transit (formerly Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority) is a public transportation agency that serves all Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County neighborhoods with 47 bus routes, including the free and all-electric bus operated Circuit throughout downtown Nashville, extending regionally from Tennessee State University. WeGo also provides paratransit services (AccessRide), which is a door-to-door mode of transportation for eligible riders with mobility constraints, and physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use traditional bus service.

Learn more about how transportation agencies can leverage mobility apps in our previous coverage:

Report: How to Leverage Uber, Lyft & Zipcar

How Cities are Boosting Public Transportation with Lyft, Uber

5 Mobility Apps that Increase Access to Healthcare

About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of EfficientGov.com and Senior Editor at Praetorian Digital. She is based in Massachusetts.