Wheeli: The Best Way to Hitch a Ride Home this Holiday

Finals season is officially upon us. For many this means late nights of cramming, pizza induced hangovers, and friends reminiscing about the semester. Laughs will be had and tears will be shed, and peeps will discuss plans for the winter break. Some will fly, some will take the train, and some will have no idea of how to get home. Fear no more those who cannot decide, Wheeli a ridesharing startup based in NYC, is here to help.

The mobile app is live.

What started as a web app has now blossomed into a fully functional mobile application. “We figured out that carpooling is no longer sexy,” Wheeli founder Jean-Pierre Adechi commented. “What makes Wheeli great is the ability to have social interactions and experiences.” With a new focus on ‘hitching rides’ Adechi and team believe that they have something truly unique.

Uber? Think again.  

What makes it different from Uber and Lyft is that Wheeli’s drivers are fellow students traveling on similar routes home or to events. To sign up students must have a valid .edu e-mail address and have downloaded the iOS app or created an account online. “Wheeli is totally safe,” Adechi noted. “As a user you can carefully select what drivers or passengers you want to connect with.” You can also use filters like gender, music, smoking/non etc. to customize your journey for the road.

Gaining traction.

Adechi and his team saw a lot of initial success when Wheeli was introduced at Wesleyan University last fall. “16% of the Wesleyan campus signed onto the network,” Adechi explained. With this initial stickiness Wheeli, the web app, was rolled out to campuses with similar profiles such as UMass, UVM, and SUNY Binghamton. “We try and find campuses that are social and enjoy the outdoors. These campuses fit our profile of students that like adventure.”

Tis’ the season.

Traveling home for the holidays to visit family and friends can be expensive too. By crowdsourcing rides Wheeli connects multiple people going towards the same destination. Passengers are then able to split costs that they would have otherwise taken on themselves. “Life is too short, and with Wheeli you will never have a boring experience again,” says Adechi. “The friends and experiences you will make will be memorable, interesting, and exhilarating. If you’re searching for a ride this winter break, or planning a fun trip for New Years, #TripOnWheeli and go on an adventure.

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