Student-founded ride-hailing app aims to reinvent city-to-city travel

Minnah Zaheer

From dockless scooters to Lyft, campus is full of alternatives for short distance travel. But two UT freshmen want to change the way students travel long distances with a new app they’ve developed. 

Business freshman Kush Singh and electrical engineering freshman Tanuj Girish are the founders of the Krew Rideshare app, which offers users rides between cities in Texas for as little as $30. Since launching in March, the app has completed about one thousand rides between Austin and Houston, and the pair currently plans to add more cities.

“Our whole model is that you can travel long-distance for the price of a bus ticket, but in a car,” Singh said. “The bus experience is not just the cost of the ticket. It’s the cost to get to the station, it’s the cost of time (and) it’s the opportunity cost as well. With our app, you save a lot of time getting to and from the stations, and so it ends up being significantly cheaper than a bus.”

Most of the app users are students, and the low price is a big draw for communications studies sophomore Keelan Apthorpe. Apthorpe currently uses Greyhound buses or Megabuses, which offer service between cities and have stations in Austin.

“I just feel like $30 is worth it because that’s basically how much a Megabus ticket is,” Apthorpe said. “And I like the idea of a more private experience. Services such as Uber and Lyft are more personalized, so you’re not on a bus with a bunch of sweaty people.”

The service allows passengers to book a ride up to a few days in advance and get matched up with a driver, who must go through a background check before being able to give rides.

“We try to utilize all the drivers that are going to a particular city anyways,” Girish said. “We also sometimes pool a bunch of riders that are going to a particular location, hire a custom driver and surge that price, and that’s how we’re able to achieve such a hyperaffordable price point.”

Moving forward, Singh says Krew hopes to establish “Krew Stops,” which will function similarly to bus stations but will be in convenient locations, such as coffee shops and restaurants.

“As soon as you arrive to that Krew Stop, you just click check-in, and we send a car your way,” Singh said.