After running into some roadblocks in app development, Enactus members said they plan to launch their ride-sharing service app, now named ChargerX, in mid-April.
Senior Tucker Phillips, co-president of the entrepreneurship club, said finding an app developer fluent in English and charging reasonable prices delayed the group’s plans. American app developers were too expensive, and overseas developers didn’t always speak English fluently enough, Phillips said. Eventually, the group found an overseas developer meeting all the requirements and able to code the app within 40 days.
Despite the obstacles with app development, the club has developed a price model and is moving forward with the app’s design.
The cost to travel within Hillsdale will be $3.50 for the first rider and that price per person will decrease with every additional passenger. With four passengers, each person would pay less than $2, Phillips said.
He, however, discouraged having only one rider, especially for longer trips like to the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in Romulus, Michigan. Under Enactus’ price model, a rider in a full car would pay around $17 to go to the airport — which is cheaper than the college shuttle, which charges $60.
Phillips said the goal is that the Hillsdale Ride Board will be unnecessary once Enactus launches the app.
Drivers will be able to register within minutes using the app by providing their name, social security number, and photos of their proof of insurance. Drivers can connect the app to Venmo and CashApp accounts or set up direct deposit, and riders can schedule future rides and send messages.
Enactus has also had to address faculty concerns regarding insurance. Starting March 21, people who drive for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft in Michigan have to pay a monthly premium on their car, after the state passed comprehensive legislation on insurance regulations for limousines, taxis, and ride-sharing services in December.
Phillips said insurance will be the drivers’ responsibility, recommending the optional personal injury protection, which protects the driver, in addition to the required personal property protection, which protects the rider.
The group has also commissioned junior Zane Miller to design the app icon. He is using blue and orange, the app’s theme colors, and the “X” in the app’s name, which is short for “Express.”
Miller, who has experience in graphic design, said he was excited to expand his professional portfolio while on campus.
Phillips said Enactus has an aesthetic shell — just the interface — designed for presentation for the upcoming March 27 competition against other Enactus clubs.
Phillips and his clubmates are handling the app and the legal questions of the project with the help of faculty and advisers, he said.
“It might sound like we’re stagnant,” Phillips said, “but we’re clipping along.”