Austin startup RideScout hopes to make Austin public transportation a seamless experience

Zachary Keener

An Austin-based app, RideScout, hopes to utilize the numerous transportation services available to Austinites to improve their downtown commute. 

RideScout, which launched at last year’s South By Southwest festival, allows husers to view many new and existing transportation service options around Austin on one platform. Users can plan trips throughout the city, tying shared transportation services such as B-Cycle, Car2Go and CapMetro together for use in their trip.

Previously, trying to plan a trip using public, shared and commercial transportation services available in Austin has been difficult, City Councilman Chris Riley said at a press conference Tuesday.

“Now we actually have a solution from an Austin-based startup,” Riley said. “RideScout will allow you how to see how to make use of everything that’s out there.”

RideScout founder Joseph Kopser said he hopes the app will benefit Austin residents by providing them with an aggregated source for alternative transportation.

“If we can get out from behind our wheel all the time, you get time back,” Kopser said.

Elliot McFadden, founder of bike share service B-Cycle, said he thinks the service will help to relieve Austin of its traffic problems.

“When you interweave all of these services together you get … a whole alternative to driving your personal car,” McFadden said. “It means fewer cars on the road and a more humane and pedestrian friendly environment in our towns.”

Spanish literature graduate student Ignacio Carbajal said he often bikes and uses the bus to get around Austin, and could see the app being useful.

“I was in traffic for 45 minutes, inching,” Carbajal said. “If you could consolidate people, that’s always good.”

Kopser said he challenges skeptics to try the service.

“Like any other tool, it only works if you use it,” Kopser said. “For the readers and the viewers who think, ‘This will never apply to me,’ I actually challenge you. It will make your life easier when you do come to downtown Austin.”