RideAustin raises nearly $50,000 for local charities

RideAustin app launches in Austin on May 23, 2016. (Screenshot of App)
RideAustin app launches in Austin on May 23, 2016. (Screenshot of App)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A ridesharing company called RideAustin has been operating in the city since May.

What makes them different than other ridesharing companies? They are a non-profit and riders can choose to donate a portion of their fare to a local charity.

The CEO Andy Tryba joined us in the KXAN studio to discuss how they are giving back to the community every time someone rides.

“We really wanted to create an asset for the community and we thought of course being able to give back to the local charities is a big part of that,” said Tryba. “So that’s why we created this roundup feature that people can go and select from any of the 34 charities that we have and be able to round up their fare and give to those charities.”

Currently, they have an estimated 33,000 people who have elected to donate to local charities. Over the past five months, they have raised just under $50,000.

How does it work?

For example, if a rider’s fare was $13.50, they could choose to donate $0.50 and would be billed $14. That donation would go directly to the charity of their choosing.

They also have a new feature that was unveiled in October. Premium customers can choose a female driver. It is one of two features being rolled out simultaneously. The other is a live ETA function where a rider can share real-time tracking of their trip with a friend or family member through the app.

All of the RideAustin drivers have undergone extensive fingerprint and background checks along with a lengthy interview process to ensure they are safe drivers.

With the holiday’s upon us, RideAustin hopes to have raised $75,000 by the end of the year and then triple that number in 2017.