Started in 2009 by David Mahfouda, Bandwagon is a shared mobility and tech company. Its service helps riders find a taxi to share with someone headed in the same direction. It is available at the following select airports and traffic hubs in and around New York City:
To join a Bandwagon ride, skip the taxi line, and split the fare, just text your destination. The service compares your route to those of other travelers and matches based on destination compatibility. It is designed so that you don’t have to go more than 20 percent out of the way.
You get to skip to the front of the taxi line with your matched partner. Bandwagon automatically pays the driver. Once the ride finishes, you get your receipt, and you can settle up with your ride sharer.
Rides are gathered from traditional licensed and regulated taxi cab drivers. The company doesn’t find rides with Transportation Network Companies like Uber or Lyft.
Book in advance or request a shared ride when you get to the taxi line at LaGuardia airport, JFK, or one of the other locations listed above. If you get a match, both riders get to skip to the head of the line.
Bandwagon allows you to save money by splitting a taxi fare. The site helps users pay 20 percent less than they would on their own. It's designed so that you never go more than 20 percent out of the way (of a solo ride to your destination).
Drivers still make the same amount of money on each shared taxi ride.
The app automatically pays the full fare for passengers and then you pay Bandwagon. If pairing with the cab isn’t available, the second passenger pays the driver and money can be transferred via SMS.
Bandwagon aims to consolidate taxi rides. In effect, this use of the sharing economy would mean less waiting time in a taxi line at the airport, etc, and fewer emissions from double the taxis headed in the same direction.
Bottom line: it's good for your wallet and the planet.
The Android version of the Bandwagon app is not available, but the Apple one is. The company hasn’t made a tweet since 2018. It's hard to say if this platform is still available to match trips and whether users should rely on it the next time they are in New York.
Matches depend on timing and compatibility. You might not be able to get a consolidated ride if no one else is requesting or within 20 percent away from your destination.
Bandwagon is only available at a few transit hubs and airports in and around New York City. It has also been used at other big events, like the CES convention center.