Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Get ready for Fetii: UT study finds Austin-based rideshare app could decrease congestion, carbon emissions

Joshua Rush
Fetti parked in West Campus on Feb. 10, 2024.

The Austin-based rideshare app Fetii could reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions, a January study from a UT consulting student organization found. 

Fetii is a rideshare service of private vans that seat up to 15 people, typically used by large parties. The study, conducted by the Tech Consulting Group, found the extra space in Fetii vans reduces the amount of cars on the road, decreasing congestion and carbon emissions.

“(Fetii vans) are able to take five times the amount of people but with the same carbon emissions as a regular minivan,” said Megha Patel, economics senior and project advisor for the study.

TCG works with local startups to deliver “technology-based solutions,” Patel said, but with Fetii, they did a study instead to see where and how the company could grow its consumer base.

The company, which primarily serves college students, expanded operations to Houston, College Station and Dallas within four years of its founding in 2020. Many student customers use Fetii for large group outings due to its convenience and cost-effectiveness, said frequent Fetii user Cruz Cabrera.

“(Fetii) allows your friends to stay together throughout most of the night,” said education junior Cabrera. “When you’re doing Ubers with more people than four, you have to coordinate when you’re all going to get there, but with Fetii, since it is just one big van, you and all your friends can get there at the same time.”

To achieve the decrease in congestion and emissions described in the study, Fetii would have to expand its base to include commuters from outside downtown, said Sajan Parikh, business freshman and consultant for the study.

“A big aspect of the study was showing consumers that this is more than a party van,” Parikh said.

Fetii also has a student ambassador program across Texas colleges to spread the word to more students. Sydney Merves, public relations sophomore and Fetii student ambassador, promotes Fetii on social media and to other campus organizations for some income and a 25% discount on rides.

“I think it’s a great way to, as a college student, do something on the side and promote a company that I actually think can go somewhere and has a lot of potential for growth,” Merves said.

As Fetii expands, it will undertake more costs like wages for drivers and new vans. Keeping in line with its goal of sustainable transportation, Patel said Fetii is looking into hybrid and electric vehicles, which would be more expensive than its usual vans.

“In the long term, those costs would be associated with less carbon emissions, which is the whole point,” Patel said. “So I think that’s a cost that they’re willing to take on.”

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