Green Ride located in Colorado provides Boulder and the surrounding communities a safe, efficient, shared ride, airport service at a fair price, with a genuinely honest and friendly staff while operating in a sustainable manner.
We had the opportunity to speak with Tate Freundlich at Green Ride. Green Ride has about 58 employees and 25 vehicles.
Tate, Love how Green Ride is focused on providing ‘green’ services. Tell us a bit more about it.
At Green Ride, we are conscientious about our driving model and with our shared-ride philosophy, we are transforming the experience of every passenger. Most companies who offer this are like ABCD operation. They pick up from one place and drop off at another. But we aim for something much more beyond that. We are utilizing our software and technology to see how to best sort the passengers into different shuttles to make the experience for them fantastic and allows us to be sustainable. This means less idling time in traffic, less wait for passengers, and we can deliver a better experience with fewer resources.
What is your role at Green Ride?
My formal role is Fleet Manager and I am responsible for taking care of all the assets, keeping them safe and operable. I also drive the development of all of our tech resource. I manage processes such as digital marketing and sometimes step into the business development role. We are a small business so I wear many hats.
Since you are responsible for managing your fleet, what type of challenges have you run into?
We ran into 2 problems:
- Decentralization of data collection — One would think that the way anyone has to do this is by personally being there to get data to make decisions for you. The attempt to do that is very difficult. The data will come from all different types of sources. For example, we will have to take what employees will write on vehicle inspection report and enter into the database. That will be one source. Then we were using a tablet for GPS location, where someone spent a lot of time and that would be another source. Using tablet GPS to find locations wasn’t always accurate. All it takes is the driver tapping the wrong icon and the data is inaccurate.
- Knowing what u have and what you have to do was a challenge: We run a 24/7 operation. The effort to schedule things is not easy as there are so many moving parts. We have to schedule daily and act on the fly and that was always where we were running into trouble.
That is when we decided to use Automile.
Why did you choose Automile?
Automile is probably my favorite company that we use. There are solutions who kind of do what you do but most of these are unpleasant to use. Some have functionalities but the user experience is so poor. Even if people are technically competent, they have a hard time using these solutions. A lot of these solutions are closed, no good way to export data into other solution and even if they have an API, the way you implement them is sketchy. Also, a lot of these solutions are an overkill with things I don’t need. I will truly recommend you as it gives me everything I want. I was so happy with the responsiveness of your tech team when I asked about diagnostic codes reports and it was implemented in no time.
Thanks, Tate, that is great to hear. How are you using Automile?
Well, we are able to use the diagnostic reports to get an idea of what might be going on with the Van and be proactive about the maintenance of our vehicles. I am actually certified mechanic so the diagnostic codes come in handy to access quickly if there is an issue.
I use geofences and have set notifications to give me alerts when Odometer reaches a certain limit.
Our drivers have access to the Automile app and when they are getting ready to switch with another driver, they are able to see where the vehicle is and how far it is from them.
As far as ROI goes, the cost that we put into each vehicle, it is easily made up 4 or 5 times over. We use Automile data to give to the insurance company if any incidents happen to prove that it wasn’t our fault. We are also able to use the data to show it to our customers as proof of when the vehicle arrived to pick them up and when it dropped them.
Tate, you are a huge advocate for tech. What other tech tools do you use at Green Ride?
I have been tech evangelist for the company and trying to implement tech at every stage.
We use Quickbooks for Accounting and TSheets for time tracking. We love TSheets! We have back-end collaboration suite and broad digital forms for our business that enables flexibility. We also give our drivers mobile phones.
Tate, any 2 cents you would like to share with businesses based on your experience?
Based on my learning, probably the best practice would be flexible and open. Be open to implementing new technologies. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel and don’t try to create everything yourself.