Tripda: The Social Network for Car Travel
Tripda, a community-based driving platform, sadly, shut down in 2016
By Erica Garnett
Ever wonder how many people have the same destination as you on the highway?
Tripda provides a way for people to travel together to a common destination. The company prides itself on providing an eco-friendly, social and efficient driving experience. Tripda is a place where riders can find rides and drivers can find riders.
Real Life Experiences from Naiara and Mike
Naiara decided to use Tripda to travel around California and Nevada on her spring break. The 23-year-old Brazil native described her experience as awesome. She went shopping, dining, and exploring with her new-found friends.
Naiara comments in her blog post from the trip, “We got into the HOV lane because there were lots of us in the car, thanks to Tripda!”
The group started out in San Francisco and returned to their original starting point.
Naiara and her group of five were able to see Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Las Vegas and San Francisco in just five days’ time.
Mike is another Tripda user. He describes his first Tripda ride as, “One of the best experiences in my life.” He commutes from New Jersey to New York City every day and uses Tripda in lieu of the train, which he views as, “pricey, stressful and inconvenient.” Mike is a very experienced ride sharer and says he always gets something out of his ride.
He says, “When I share a ride with someone every day, I have the feeling that I am doing the environment a huge favor.” He also appreciates being able to relax while someone else is driving and the conversations had. Mike reflects on the interesting people he meets and what they have taught him.
Driving with Jim
He says in his blog, “I have driven with two Jim’s this week. This Jim was particularly interesting because he coaches applicants before their interviews and has met a lot of funny characters in the process.”
The Options Are Limitless
Tripda can be used for a variety of reasons. People can take a mini road trip over a school break like Naiara or alleviate their solo morning commute to work like Mike.
Tripda is mainly used for medium to long-distance rides. The company currently has 130,000 active users across Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, Chile, India, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Pakistan, and the United States.
Tripda is mainly used in the United States. Co-founder and CEO, Adi Vaxman explains that the company has certain “hot spots” across the country. Common routes in the Northeast exist between the large metro areas of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.
Penn State to Ithaca
The route between Penn State University and Ithaca College is another notable area of high use. Tripda is commonly used between Las Angeles and San Francisco on the West Coast and within Texas and Florida in the south.
Vaxman estimates the ages of 18 to 35-years-old to be approximately 80 percent of Tripda’s clientele. People can use Tripda across borders of countries it operates in for a group of college kids in Texas looking to go to Mexico for spring break or a person who wants to road trip across South America.
Working out the Logistics of the Trip
Using Tripda begins by logging in with Facebook. The platform is available by app and on its website. People who plan to drive place an offer for the ride and how many seats are available.
This is typically done at least a week before the trip. Vaxman makes it clear that Tripda is not to be misconstrued as a taxi service since the driver and passengers all share a common destination.
Vaxman explains there is a mixture of single, couple, and family travel with Tripda. The driver usually sets the price for gas that the passengers have to contribute but Tripda does have a suggested price calculation on the website. Vaxman says, “Sometimes just one seat is offered, sometimes it is one person offering a lot of seats.”
Accepting or Denying Up to the Driver
The driver reserves the right to accept or deny the passengers as they receive them. Those looking for a seat in a car can search for their party by available seats, price, time, and destination. The group decides on destinations and departures making them as flexible as they desire.
Tripda groups are formed based on common interests. People can fill out questionnaires about whether they like music in the car or prefer quiet and occasional conversation or if pets can come along. The benefit of logging in with Facebook allows Tripda to also match people based on shared company and university affiliations and through mutual friends.
Seats are booked a day or two before the trip, giving the group of people time to get to know one another and work out further planning.
Safe, Efficient, and Eco-Friendly!
Safety is a large consideration of Tripda. Everyone in a group undergoes Facebook, mobile and email verification. Affiliations with universities and other organizations are also checked.
Tripda also gives people the chance to get to know one another before the trip begins so there is a level of comfort and an initial start to a bond. During this process, group members can message exclusively over the platform on Tripda instead of a personal contact number.
Tripda also provides community reviews about travel partners and drivers for people to see before they choose to travel with them. Vaxman refers to this as one of the “strongest features” of Tripda. Women are provided with a specialized option of traveling with exclusively other women for comfort and safety.
Tripda is also safe for the environment. Combining morning commutes and condensing a vacation of three couples to one car reduces gas and pollution. There is less congestion of major highways and less time spent of the road which means more time spent traveling.
Input From Adi
Vaxman and co-founder Joe McFarlane started Tripda in 2014. The inspiration for the company was, “Giving people an opportunity to use infrastructures that already exist.” Tripda aims to make ride-sharing mainstream although there are no concrete plans for expansion as of now. Vaxman describes Tripda as, “Kind of like a dating app where both sides can search and find each other. The whole idea is a social experience.”
Erica Garnett is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and a former intern for GoNOMAD. She lives in Boston.