What is ACTiN?
Actin is a contractile protein in muscle that is essential for movement, and ACTiN is an Advanced Connected Transportation Network. It is one of several interconnected networks that allows a community to interact with every conceivable transportation asset – including new ones – all in one place. To do this, we use a specially designed smartphone app called MoveUP.
What is MoveUP?
MoveUP was designed as a digital infrastructure for a community that removes the barriers between different types of organizations or even competing organizations, whether for profit or nonprofit. It is an app on the App Store and Google Play (MoveUP – Rides and Deliveries) that is uniquely designed to allow communities to build multiple “Networks” that serve multiple different needs in multiple different ways. MoveUP can manage diverse methods of transportation, deliveries, communication, and even e-commerce, all in one app.
What do you mean by “Networks”?
Transportation needs are just as varied as people, so to serve all those needs, you need different options. MoveUP allows multiple groups of similar assets – such as volunteer drivers – to be coordinated together on what we call a “Network.” A Network has rules and requirements that are chosen by that community so that organizations that use the network can function as they need to. For example, a community may want drivers to have a certain background check process performed before being allowed to transport people, even as a volunteer. MoveUP allows them to set standards like this, or any others that are important to them, or even required by law.
So, this ACTiN is just one network?
Yes: it is what we call the “professional” transportation network. ACTiN has been designed to serve Lynchburg, VA’s public transportation needs. These include rides to medical or other healthcare appointments (nonemergent medical transport), but also rides to work, school, grocery or other shopping, pharmacy, business and entertainment.
Wait a minute… public transportation? Isn’t that why we have buses?
These types of trips are often trips that our current bus system simply cannot do effectively, so it is extremely difficult to live a healthy and happy life without a car. Because of this, transportation remains the most important community health need or “social determinant of health.” If we can fix this and enable effective, safe, reliable transportation at a cost that is lower than what it costs to own and operate a car, this will be an incredible asset to our city, especially for people who can’t afford a car or are unable to drive.
Tell me about these different “Networks”
For this pilot project we are using four main synergistic networks: (1) ACTiN, which is our “professional” transportation network; (2) a Workforce Network; (3) a true rideshare network which we call the Community Friends Network; and (4) a Volunteer Network.
Here are details on each network:
ACTiN Professional Transportation Service:
This network is committed to being able to provide the absolute best service at a very reasonable price. The fleet will be exclusively Model X Teslas. This is for several reasons, but the most important is that the “falcon” door creates the safest way to load or unload a passenger with limited mobility, expanding the customers that we can serve. In addition, the cars have enough space to move 5 adults and they are statistically one of the safest vehicles ever made. The fully electric drive is significantly less expensive to maintain than a conventional internal combustion car or hybrid. Finally, the drivers are salaried and paid at the top of the industry, so there is no concern about whether the trip is “valuable” or not, you will always have a premier experience.
ACTiN Workforce Transportation Network:
The federal government allows employers to fund employee transportation outside of payroll (saving on payroll and income taxes) as much as $270 per month per employee. The problem for smaller cities and rural areas is that we currently lack any effective system where this money can be spent. ACTiN provides that network. We can enable an employee transportation spending account that is only utilized when the ride starts or ends at the user’s place of employment. In this way, the money can be used to pay for one of our pro-run Teslas, or it could be used to pay a driver or coworker who is part of the Community Friend’s Network.
Community Friend’s Network: A True Rideshare.
A true rideshare network is when people can do just that: share rides, and share the use of their vehicles. Many people think Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft are “rideshare” companies, but this is not really true, they are actually more like digital taxi companies, as they control the connection between the rider and the driver, they set the price, and they take their cut of the fare. The Community Friend’s Network is very different, as it is really an online or in-app “community” of drivers and riders who can use the technology to better communicate for shared use. First, to get in, everyone has to agree to the rules, which include that no one is a professional driver like a taxi or other transport service. Second, you must obey all laws, and also must be courteous to others. If you break the rules or treat people poorly, you may be kicked out.
Drivers must pass a background check, which is done through the app by our partner company Digisure. The is a rigorous criminal background and driving record check, so you can be sure drivers have been properly vetted. This background check costs $15.
Even riders need to have an in-app verification of their identification, and this is through another of our partners, Persona. This ID verification costs $3.
Once in the network, riders are free to ask their friends for assistance on trips, whether on-demand or prescheduled. We have found that prescheduling rides is much easier in smaller cities and rural areas where there aren’t as many people. Drivers may ask the rider for compensation and the app makes this simple, but there is no preset fare, everyone agrees to the conditions ahead of time, and the network doesn’t have anything to do with it – it’s between the rider and driver.
Because no one is taking a cut and no one is a professional which requires special licensing and insurance, this is the lowest cost transportation system, excepting only the volunteer network.
MoveUP Volunteer Transportation Network
Every community has people in need of transportation for which there is no good solution, and the MoveUP Volunteer Transportation Network is designed to put a dent in this need.
Like the Community Friends Network, drivers must pass the same Digisure background check (you only need to do this once – it is applicable in either network). A major difference is in how the ride requests are entered: in the Volunteer Network, rides can only be requested by designated members of a local participating nonprofit. As an example, the director of Meals on Wheels might request a ride from a client that needs to get to an important appointment. In this way, the drivers know that any requests are legitimate community needs.
Am I only allowed to use one network at a time?
This is the power of MoveUP’s network architecture: a rider could literally access all 4 networks, all at the same time. For example, a student of a nonprofit vocational education program such as Legacy Education may need a ride to work. If a representative at Legacy entered that ride request, it would be seen by all the drivers on the volunteer network, by all of the drivers in the Community Friend’s Network, it would be eligible for payment through the Workforce Transportation Network, and the professional ACTiN network could be used if none of these other systems had a willing driver. This maximizes the chance that the ride gets done and minimizes the cost.
MoveUP – Connecting the community, one ride at a time.