While seniors at IU, Ilya Rekhtor, Peter SerVaas, and Eric Jiang saw a huge opportunity to leverage new technologies to improve city bus systems. Riders wanted an easier way to track where buses were to make it easier to catch the bus, while visually-impaired riders needed a way to know when to board and when to get off. Their idea, which became DoubleMap, improves the bus riding experience for riders and makes the system simpler and more efficient for administrators. Analytics were the key for administrators. They wanted to know when people get on, when and where they get off, and how many people were riding, so they could allocate buses efficiently. The administrators wanted to improve the customer experience by reducing the number of special routes needed to accommodate riders.
A unique opportunity emerged to provide a cutting edge new service to riders when the city of Orlando issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for their Flexbus program, an on demand ride sharing system allowing passengers to request vans in real-time to pick them up and drop them off at custom destinations. DoubleMap won the proposal. However as part of the RFP, the City of Orlando demanded a 45 day trial of the system which would determine whether DoubleMap would be awarded the full contract. They had less than 60 days to build the solution they proposed in the RFP between the time they won the contract and the time they had to do the trial. Given the lack of internal resources to build the platform in such a short timeframe, DoubleMap leveraged the Sticksnleaves team to help execute such an ambitious system. Sticksnleaves worked closely with the management team to conceive of a location based mobile application. It allowed users to select a pickup and drop off location and see the availability of passenger vans. It was an on demand ride-sharing tool.
DoubleMap and Sticksnleaves focused in, and had a working web and mobile application built in the time allotted. It was completely operational, passing the trial with flying colors. DoubleMap was awarded full the contract at a value of $1 million, the largest contract in DoubleMap’s 7 year history. Building an on demand ride-sharing tool similar to Lyft or Uber from scratch for one of the largest cities in America was a groundbreaking event -- nothing of its kind had ever been done in public transit before. Sticksnleaves has continued to work with DoubleMap on multiple similar projects.
Ilya Rekhtor, Founder, DoubleMap
“We were able to speak with Yaw, Anthony and Brad at an almost team member level because they get really ingrained in what they do as opposed to a ‘get in, get out, and get on with life’ mentality. In everything from strategy to the actual development, they were great to work with. They follow up, making sure that the implementation went well, and respond promptly to tweaks or bugfixes. It’s been a great experience working with Sticksnleaves.”