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Let’s Ride-Share a Bus!

It was only a matter of time before the same forces that brought competition to the taxi industry turned their attention to the bus business. Startups like Skedaddle want to do for ride-sharing across America.

Launched by a clutch of east coast entrepreneurs led by Adam Nestler, his brother Craig, Brad Werntz and Lou Harlow, Skedaddle began two years ago as a way to bring millennials onto the festival express.

The idea initially was to tap into the demand from folks looking for a way out of their blasted urban hellscapes and out into the world of the weekender.

And so Skedaddle was born. Initially begun as a website, the company is transitioning to an app-only business (aided with a new $2.1 million round of funding from investors led by Arena Ventures).

Users can think of Skedaddle as a Lyft line or Uber pool for either a public or private weekend getaway.

Initially someone planning a public trip can post their route on the app (in a bid to encourage user adoption, the person who plans the trip rides for free), and then enlists at least 9 other people to come along (at a discounted rate). Once a group of 10 is booked, the ride will happen and anyone else can come along. The chartered rides max out at 54 seats per trip.

Private trips can be scheduled for any number of people, and Nestler says the bulk of the company’s business is coming from public trips.

Skedaddle began its business with the short-haul trips from cities to the far flung venues where summer concerts, festivals and sporting events tend to live.

Other startups have already come and gone with services that look similar to Skedaddle’s chartered offerings. Chariot, which was acquired by Ford earlier this month, was offering its own version of shared transportation.

Rather than setting itself apart as an events-driven option for weekend getaways or longer trips, Chariot pitched itself as an alternative to the daily commute.

The company is currently arranging rides for 50,000 riders per month and the average ride for each passenger is around $40, according to Nestler.

That revenue and demand creation means that the private bus operators are partners rather than competitors for Skedaddle.

The company’s biggest competition, and why it marshaled investors like Arena, Corigin Ventures, Aspect Ventures, and Seamless founder Jason Finger; is to tackle bus companies like Greyhound, Megabus, and Peter Pan. – Article published on TechCrunch

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