October 8, 2015
Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in America – one glance at the blue sky on any given day proves this – but walking around or taking the train may not always be the option to go around the city. Thankfully, there are a lot of transportation startups in Chicago that are rethinking the way travelers and daily commuters get from point A to points B, C, and D.
This celebration of the Chicago ecosystem is brought to you by @properties, the leading Chicago real estate brokerage serving both the city of Chicago and North Shore through dynamic marketing and innovation. While companies like Uber and Lyft didn't start off in Chicago, their mere presence in the city certainly give commuters an additional option – and additional ease-of-mind – across Chicagoland. But we're not here to look at companies that have already been massively covered in the media; instead, we look specifically at companies in Chicago that are hoping to change transportation at its core – and, hopefully, spread that kind of change to other cities in the United States and the world.
Here are seven transportation startups in Chicago that improving the lives of Chicagoland residents every day.
Autobuddiez offers Chicago drivers with a unique way to keep their cars in shape. The on-demand car care company offers drivers with a monthly subscription or pay-as-you-go options that will essentially give the company the ability to take care of your car. Autobuddiez will simply come pick up your car, take it to a car wash, fill the gas tank, and do every car maintenance related task that needs to be done – whether that's changing the oil, checking on the mechanics, or fixing a window. Then, they'll simply drive it back to your home.
Through CurbNinja's mobile application, motorcycle and scooter drivers can easily find free and paid parking spots. The app also enables them to share new spots that they find, so that others can book those spots. We interviewed the company last August to ask them a little more about the market for motorcycle and scooter parking.
Headquartered in San Diego, but with an office in Chicago, Cubic Transportation Services works with cities to provide integrated systems for transportation and traffic management, giving commuters with the easiest way to travel and pay for their routes. Their tools also enable transportation authorities and agencies to manage demand on an entire transportation system – and all in real-time. This past summer, Cubic – alongside the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) – was awarded the “Best New Innovative Practice-Partnership Deployment” for their joint contactless bankcard payment system, Ventra.
Headquartered out of Chicago, Echo is utilizing technology to simplify the logistics and tasks surrounding transportation management. They work closely with their clients to provide the most efficient solutions through different modes of transport, including less-than-truckload (LTL), full-truckload, and intermodal.
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Chicago, ParkWhiz gives consumers a way to book guaranteed parking spots through an online marketplace. Through the company's website or mobile app, users can find real-time parking availability in selected locations and book parking spots immediately. The company currently offers parking options and deals at more than 1,500 locations around the country. ParkWhiz is an official partner of StubHub and TicketsNow, and works closely with professional and collegiate sports organizations, allowing consumers an easy option to find parking when attending these kinds of events.
Chicago seems to be the home of parking startups; SpotHero offers an on-demand parking app that also allows consumers to find and book parking spots. Whether it's a self-parking option or valet, drivers can reserve their parking spot in advance using SpotHero's mobile app. The company has received more than $27 million in funding – with a $20 million series B raised just this past August.
The Chicago-based company makes ride-sharing easy and affordable. Through its mobile app, users simply enter a destination, find a group that works with their schedule, and simply share a ride to his/her destination.
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