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5 min read

    5 min read

    There’s a new ridesharing company out there that is unique when compared to Uber or Lyft or any other company you think of when you hear “rideshare”. This company is called Pablito.

    They are new and still getting their bearings, but here’s what we know about them so far.

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    Pablito is a Los Angeles-based company that owns recognizable 15-passenger vans that are wrapped with their logo, so there’s no question of who is picking the individuals up.

    What is Pablito and Who is Pablito For?

    Primarily, Pablito exists to provide transportation for daily commuters. Pablito uses vans to pick up commuters at designated locations, allowing them to get to their destination in less time and at a lower cost (due to scale) than other private transit.

    Pablito has two key expansion strategies:

    1. One strategy is expanding the Pablito Shuttle-as-a-Service for enterprises in other large cities where commuting causes productivity losses because their employees waste time and energy. Pablito has had strategic conversations with companies in cities including Austin, Detroit, and New York.
    2. Another strategy is introducing the Pablito Software-as-a-Service to other shuttle companies that can utilize their amazing software platform that they use, which includes rider and driver applications, a robust API, fleet management integrations, and payment processing and accounting.

    Pablito states that: “Our mission is to transform transportation for enterprises with our own service and by enabling others.”

    Pablito Commuter Vans

    Pablito boasts having professional drivers, allowing passengers to be productive while they ride, convenience and the ability to safely travel with friends. An app is coming soon but is not yet available. They are starting out in Los Angeles and San Francisco by only allowing companies to hire Pablito vans for transportation services for the time being.

    Within each van they offer free WiFi, charging outlets and free water. This is, on average, more than your everyday Uber or Lyft driver provides for their passengers, giving them a possible leg up in that respect.

    Most mass-transit buses offer free WiFi, so what else makes them different from the mass transit buses? A Pablito representative said, “With our Pablito’s Shuttle-as-a-Service, we work with companies to create customizable routes to transport their employees between home and work. We enable companies to aggregate data, analyzing commute patterns, and establish optimized and convenient pick-up and drop-off locations. We provide a dashboard for employers to manage the service.

    In terms of the types of companies Pablito may work with, in an article published by the San Francisco Business Times, the CEO of Pablito, Pablo Genevo, stated the company “is in talks with the likes of Mastercard, Katerra and the San Francisco opera, symphony and ballet.”

    From Pablito directly, they said, “We currently operate a route in SF with iXL Learning, a software company with over 300 employees and we now transport their employees and some of their executives. Things have been going well with our service, rider and driver apps, and our vehicles and drivers. The route begins in San Francisco at 7 A.M. where we have 4 stops and we pick up iXL employees to bring them to their HQ in San Mateo. On the afternoon, we take iXL employees from their HQ to SF (to each of our 4 drop off’s). The riders have access to booking their trip and tracking the van via our mobile app.”

    They are constantly working with businesses to expand their base and to accommodate the needs of each business (and their employees) they are working with.

    Does Pablito Want to Replace Mass Transit? Not Quite

    In a blog post, Pablito makes it sound like they consider themselves more closely related to mass-transit, but also that they are not there to replace mass-transit options that are out there.

    “We feel that our service is for the greater public,” said Atul Patel, Co-Founder and COO, “and we are simply partnering with organizations first because it helps us build awareness, improve our service and technology, and achieve our mission of getting individual cars off the road while giving back people their lives.

    “The vast majority of public users are simply commuting to and from work, events, and venues. For the foreseeable future, we will partner with all forms of companies including large corporations, school institutions, and government agencies with their employees and events and venues with their visitors and guests. There is nothing stopping us from making this generally available independent of our partners, but the fragmentation and distribution has caused many others that have followed that path to fail. We plan to become the industry-defining leader in the Shuttle-as-a-Service segment.”

    The claim is that by using their services, you as a passenger will be able to save time for yourself by not having to worry about traffic or finding a parking spot. In fact, you may even be able to do work during the commute.

    The cost for companies to utilize Pablito is $10,000 a month per route. It’s unclear if this cost would change with a larger or smaller company, so that will be something to keep an eye out for.

    Summary

    Overall, it looks like Pablito is ready to change the rules for what we know about rideshare services, and that is fine by me. I love having more options rather than fewer when it comes to safely getting around town. If my company offered a similar solution, I’d be inclined to use it so I could avoid worrying about traffic while also either getting work done or doing some reading that I rarely get to do with my limited spare time.

    If you want to learn more about Pablito, fill out the form on their website to stay informed of when they may be available in your city or what they are up to next.

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    -Paula @ RSG

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins

    Paula Gibbins, a graduate of Augustana University, Sioux Falls, is a part-time rideshare driver and a full-time proofreader. She is based in Minneapolis/St. Paul. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, playing board games and participating in trivia nights.