Another new ride-sharing service has launched in D.C. to combat crowded streets and public transit -- and this time, it's taking on buses.
Bridj is an on-demand van service. It uses location-based technology to transport up to 14 people to and from downtown Washington D.C. during morning and evening commute hours. The ride costs between $2-$5 and comes with free Wi-Fi service.
Various transportation alternatives have caused a decline in Metro ridership over the past two years, while D.C’s population has been on the rise.
“I think it will be a better commute for folks,” Bridj’s marketing director Ryan Kelly said in an interview. “It’s a very different experience from Uber and Lyft because we aggregate people going in the same direction, which is how we are able to offer a lower price.”
Similar to existing transportation services, commuters drop a pin at their origin and destination. Bridj will then provide a list of ticket options that you can book for a single trip, or an entire week.
You enter your credit card information, reserve a seat and catch Bridj at the designated pickup spot along with other passengers traveling to a nearby area. You can track the vehicle’s arrival on a real-time map until it arrives. The van then takes all passengers to a central drop off location.
Bridj currently picks up and drops off in areas surrounding Cathedral Heights, Glover Park, Dupont Circle and downtown D.C. It added the Petworth, 16th Street Heights and Brightwood neighborhoods this week.
“D.C. offers even greater opportunities than Boston,” where the company is based, Kelly said. Boston and D.C. are currently the only cities Bridj serves.
Kelly praised D.C. for its density, mixture of business and residential districts, and percentage of residents without cars -- 38 percent, the second highest in the U.S. only behind New York City.
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Kelly said Bridj will focus on expanding within the District before venturing into Maryland and Virginia, “but there are neighborhoods where the value of Bridj would be extremely popular.”
Kelly mentioned Alexandria, Tysons Corner, and Falls Church as possible places for expansion, but made no promises.
Others in the D.C. area are encouraged to visit the website and add their commute to their system so Bridj knows where to expand next. There, you can also see an interactive map of commutes people have already put in the system.
And the company is sweetening its deal for its D.C. expansion: it’s offering new users the first 10 rides free with the code “nextstop."