Riding into the Sunset: How to Create a Ride Sharing App
Not sure how to start a rideshare company and make it a thriving business? Developing a unique and user-friendly app is a necessary prerequisite to success.
One of the effects globalization has brought into our life is the increased mobility of people. We commute to work, move to other countries, make intercontinental business trips, travel for pleasure, and hike to feel one with nature. The simplest way to reach a destination is to use your own transportation means. However, owning one runs contrary to the mobility trend which presupposes a perpetual readiness to pull anchor and get on the move on short notice. The solution to this dilemma is offered by ride sharing companies that spare travelers the bother of owning a vehicle but allow them to accomplish their trip and save drivers’ fuel expenses at the same time.
How Does Rideshare Work?
Have you ever thumbed a ride? Well, then you basically know what ride sharing is. A driver following his or her route picks up some passengers who happen to be going in the same direction. In return for the lift, they are expected to partake in the ride cost.
How is it different from classical taxi services? For once, it is not an on-demand ride. The driver will go to his or her destination any way irrespective of the presence or absence of companions. Then, unlike a taxi, carpooling (which is another name for ridesharing) is not about making money. The only money drivers earn is, in fact, the reimbursed sum on fuel cost. And finally, car owners might have reasons other than financial for finding co-travelers. For example, on a long-distance ride, having another person with a driver’s license on the passenger seat is an excellent opportunity to switch roles from time to time, providing rest for the weary driver.
How Does Rideshare Work?
A successful strategy that will help you to build a carpooling app includes three steps:
1. Preliminary research
Before plunging into this business headfirst, you should try to sound out how deep the ocean that beckons you so much is. And first of all, this refers to the competition you will face.
Even the top ridesharing companies like Lyft, Uber or BlaBlaCar fail to make a profit in some areas, so you should visit their local websites and read through customers' reviews to find out the reasons. In this way, you will learn about the problems passengers encounter, avoid some mistakes, and get plenty of tips on how to make a rideshare app that will work.
Another perk you will get from such research is awareness of your potential market. Some neighborhoods and even areas like, say, Beverly Hills aren't the best places to start a carpooling business since their well-to-do denizens aren't likely to book even a personal cab, to say nothing of sharing a ride with someone to cut down on riding fare. Conversely, the busy downtown zone of a large metropolis will abound in potential clients for your rideshare company.
However strange it may sound, the first steps for the procedure of rideshare app development are made offline. At the outset, you should obtain necessary permits and licenses, starting with a general business license down to specific permits (like vehicle-for-service permit, drivers’ medical and character certificates, vehicle permit and insurance, etc.) mandatory for this industry. That done, you may begin buying inventory or leasing cars if the purchase is beyond your budget. And only after all these procedures are completed it is time to create an application.
To stay ahead of the competition, you mustn't stay put. It means constant updating of your app and your business model in general, fine-tuning them both to new variables and emerging challenges.
While developing your own application, you won’t have to reinvent the wheel, since the best ride sharing apps are basically tailored similarly.
Ride Sharing App Features
What you should realize is that you will in fact need three apps: the passenger app, the driver app, and the admin dashboard. Each of those will require a set of must-have features.
For a passenger app they are:
Login/signup registration. It should include email and social media login options, as well as payment processing.
Booking interface. This is the place where passengers enter the address they start from, specify the car type and driver preferences (if any), and arrange for the pickup place.
Price calculator. It allows estimating the ride cost, which could be done before actually booking a ride.
Payments. It offers a choice of payment methods, typically between cash and automatic in-app payment via credit card.
Tracking. This function coupled with the GEO location feature is used to track the driver’s location, make in-ride or after-ride updates, and so on.
Push notifications. Through it, passengers are kept informed on order status, time of the booked vehicle’s arrival, its model, license plate, etc.
If you wish to create your own rideshare app that is especially user-friendly, you may add such features as messaging, ratings and reviews, multi-language and multi-currency support, panic button, and even special rides for ladies.
The driver app has to include:
Register/profile feature. It should contain the driver's verification and administrator's approval as well as the driver's schedule
Booking. It is the pivotal feature for this app, since it will enable the driver to accept or deny an order, get customer location and ride destination information and booking history. Ideally, it should be coupled with Google map integration.
Push notifications. These are obligatory not only for passengers but for drivers as well, since they contain booking data (including location, route, and payment), order alerts, and updates.
Optional functions may include driver support, panic button, reviews and ratings, messaging and so on.
The admin dashboard is called to serve the company’s management so it should enable viewing ride postings and chatting between drivers and passengers, as well as numerous managerial tasks (website management, email template management, currency rate and multiple language labels, site banner management, etc.).
These general guidelines are universal, yet the app features may be modified depending on the vehicle type offered for ridesharing.
Creating an App for Green Vehicles
The global trend of reducing reliance on fossil fuel has led to the boom in bicycle and scooter usage, and consequently, such green vehicles are becoming increasingly available for ride sharing. What are the features a bike or scooter sharing app must have?
People must have 24/7 access to dockless bicycles in any place. And the app should direct them through GPS to the nearest location where they can hire a bike.
2. Prompt Bike Unlocking
It is done by pressing the "unlock" button and scanning a QR code, after which the customer can use the bike or scooter right away.
3. Foolproof payment
This is not just about a single-click payment. App developers must take precautions against disclosing the clients’ payment card details so that they feel secure employing your company’s services.
4.Booking in Advance
Customers must be sure that they will reach their destination on time without worrying that no vehicle will be available when they get to the hiring point.
Yet, before starting a bike or scooter sharing business, you should be aware of potential pitfalls you may face. Since it is a comparatively novel trend, there might be a problem of finding a developer who knows how to create a rideshare app tailored for this particular business. Besides, the absence of clear traffic regulations for scooters may incur accidents which, coupled with bad road conditions, is likely to serve as an obstacle on the way of running such a business.
Whatever type of vehicle you are going to hire out through your app, it is important to realize how the app can generate revenue.
How Do Ride Sharing Apps Make Money?
The main possible ways through which you can profit from your ride sharing app include:
Transaction charge. This is the most obvious source of income. The app owner gets a certain sum for each transactions between driver and passenger;
Rent charge. The app owner gets a fee for vehicle reservation, the duration of usage, waiting time, etc.
Cost to Make a Ride Sharing App
Another money-related issue is the cost to make a ridesharing app. It is determined by the time the developers need to design the app and by the hourly rate developers charge.
As far as the time is concerned, most of it is spent on web quality assurance, with the passenger app development close by.
The hourly rates follow no universal pattern since they greatly depend on the location the developer hails from. For instance, the US companies charge between $100 and 150 per hour while European ones offer their services at $40-80, with twice as little charged by Asian web developers. Multiply that figure by 200 hours at least, which are necessary to develop each app element (the driver app, the passenger app, and the admin dashboard), and you will arrive at the total amount you will have to fork out.
If you are only starting your business and possess a limited initial budget, the wise solution is to hire a developer from Eastern Europe. Our company offers high-quality services of a dedicated team of experts who can deliver a top-notch product at an affordable price.
With thousands of people constantly on the move, it is no wonder that ride sharing is becoming ever more widespread in the global world of today. If you want to succeed in the carpooling business, a feature-reach and user-friendly mobile app is something you can’t do without.