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Avego Newsletter

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Avego Chosen as Real-Time Ridesharing System throughout California

Santa Barbara and three counties in San Francisco Bay Area select Avego RTR

In a major indication that Real-time Ridesharing (RTR) is becoming a new, mainstream mode of transport, several government agencies in California have chosen to pilot Avego’s ridesharing technology. Administered by Caltrans in Santa Barbara and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in Sonoma, Contra Costa and Marin Counties, these projects will represent the largest RTR implementations to-date.

Although it’s still early days for RTR, it has already created significant buzz during the first large-scale deployment in Seattle, Washington. Avego was chosen for the go520 project by the Washington State Department of Transport (WSDOT). The aim of this pilot was to measure the impact of RTR on some 190,000 commuters, who are faced with severe congestion across the SR-520 bridge daily.

From mid-2012 the California projects will allow drivers using Avego technology to save money by sharing empty seats in their cars and riders to cut their commute headache by leaving their cars at home and booking a seat to work from their computer or smartphone. The long-term goal of RTR, shared by Avego and its partners, is to curb the number of Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV) trips, reduce traffic congestion and ultimately cut GHG emissions, while providing a flexible, convenient transport alternative to commuters.

In Contra Costa, Sonoma and Marin Counties the RTR projects will investigate the impact of RTR on a variety of transport issues, including insufficient parking at BART stations, traffic issues on Highway 101 and the reduction of transit services in certain communities.

In the Santa Barbara area, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) hopes the commute alternative provided by RTR will help to solve a number of issues, such as over-crowding on busses to and from Isla Vista and major parking problems in the area. Each of these projects will be rolled out during 2012.

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Avego Ride Board launches

Real-time and pre-matched ridesharing now available!

Have you ever stood in a busy airport, looked at the departure board, and thought, “this would be so much easier if I could just tap the plane I want to take to reserve my seat?”

Unfortunately, a simple tap on a departure board at the airport won’t get you a seat on a plane just yet, but it can get you a seat in someone’s car! Avego’s new “Ride Board” gives commuters another quick and easy way to arrange pre-scheduled or real-time carpools.

Riders can view Avego ridesharing activity in their area from their iPhone, Android or Windows phone, and book a ride with just a few taps. The Ride Board shows drivers who are currently en route, as well as scheduled trips in order of departure time, just like you’d expect to see at the airport.

When the rider selects a driver to match with, they can view driver details and select a convenient pick-up and drop-off point. Once the driver has accepted the request, the rider gets a PIN for authentication at the pick-up point. Easy, safe and convenient – just a little cooler than your average departure board.

The Avego Ride Board will be used in the California Real-Time Ridesharing programs in conjunction with the new Avego Shout app and Avego Driver, to ensure that both carpooling and ridesharing are made as easy and safe as possible for commuters.

The Avego Ride Board works with any web-enabled smartphone. For the best Ride Board experience check out rides in cities like Houston, San Francisco and Seattle in the USA. More and more cities will be rolling out in the coming months - try it out in your own area at m.avego.com.

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Sean O’Sullivan Selected for Ireland’s Dragons’ Den

Avego co-founder and Managing Director selected for an investment TV series in Ireland

Sean O’Sullivan has made the headlines once more. The Avego co-founder and Managing Director has been asked to join one of the top 10 TV series in Ireland, The Dragons’ Den.

Despite the harsh tone implied by the name, the Den (known as the “Shark Tank” in the US) is a forum for Irish entrepreneurs to pitch their business models to a panel of five successful venture capitalists. Such investment prospects are key for companies with a good model, struggling against the current economic tide.

The businesses chosen to appear on the show are convinced they have a model bound for success and the drive to achieve their goals, but know they lack the financial backing and experience to expand. The investors, or Dragons, which O’Sullivan is to join in the upcoming series, are on the prowl for new businesses truly worthy of investment.

The Irish Dragons have invested in over 20 high potential Irish companies to-date and hope to provide more promising companies similar opportunities in 2012. The show originated in the UK, but has now spread to over 20 countries and currently ranks as the 8th most popular series on Irish TV.

Avego co-founder and Managing Director Sean O’Sullivan seems a natural choice for this position, having proved himself both a successful entrepreneur, with several multi-million dollar start-ups under his belt, and a keen investor as General Manager of SOSventures, a venture capital and investment management firm.

The show is due to air in March 2012 when O’Sullivan will join his four fellow Dragons: media guru Gavin Duffy, property specialist Niall O'Farrell, publisher Norah Casey and founder of the Insomnia coffee chain Bobby Kerr. O’Sullivan is excited by the opportunity the show provides and has said that he believes efficiency and creativity are generated in times of recession. He notes that this is reflected in the birth of many highly successful companies in similar periods throughout history.

Watch the interview with Sean O’Sullivan on the Late Late Show (Irish Saturday night talk show)

More info?

Read the realated articles from the Irish press:
The Irish Independent
The Irish Times

For more information on the Dragons’ Den in Ireland, please visit the official website.

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