As New York, Seattle and San Francisco Weigh the Economics of Fair Congestion Pricing, Does a Start-Up in Music City have a Smarter Solution?


"...Early last year, Hytch Rewards, a tech start-up based in Nashville, launched a unique program that provided cash incentives to commuters sharing rides via the free app. The public/private initiative’s goal was to accelerate shared rides to reduce “Music City’s” growing commute traffic. Using support from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Nashville-based companies like Nissan and partnerships with universities and Nashville Connect, Hytch took aim at single occupancy commuters by rewarding verified shared commutes tracked and paid via the app’s unique Mobility Rules Engine™.

Rewarding smarter commuting works. In less than a year, Hytch gained 11,000 downloads, thousands of regular commute users sharing over 8.5 million miles and 250,000 rides. Hytch proved to be an impactful tool to manage and measure Nashville’s growing traffic challenge (in the city’s interstate design that has almost every route headed downtown). For sponsors, Hytch allowed employers to reward verified carbon-neutral commutes, free-up scarce parking and help workforces connect (Hytch doesn’t match strangers, but rather allows co-workers and friends to connect).

Hytch’s results make it clear incentives can play a role in changing commuter behavior, can make congestion pricing more fair as an offset to punitive pricing and can leverage social and worker networks for smarter mobility..."

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