Last October I was trying to get from Washington D.C. to New York to visit my little brother at his dormitory at NYU. I started out checking Kayak and Expedia for flights. I was on a pretty strict budget, so I looked into Amtrak, and then Megabus, BoltBus and Peterpan Buslines. Once I knew all my options, I had to do numerous Google searches to try to figure out how to get to and from all the possible departure and arrival points.
And then book all them separately.
There are more than 40 different flight search engines out there, but when it comes to getting to and from the airport or buses or trains, no one seems interested in helping. No one lives or vacations at airports, so why are most travel companies so unconcerned about how their passengers travel that "final mile" from the airport terminal to the hotel?
That inspired us to start Mozio, (currently in testing with private users) where we are working on technology to let you book your limo, flight, bus, train and airport shuttle ALL with one click.
Travel is in our DNA. I have hit 65 countries, have dual citizenship (U.S. and Estonia) and have lived and worked abroad in Tallinn, Estonia and Paris, France. I grew up traveling -- but never with a lot of disposable income -- so we understand the frugal traveler's urge to make sure they know they are really getting the best deal. In high school I was quite the dork, often neglecting homework to build robots. This led to a UC Berkeley Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences degree, and upon graduation I decided that combining my dual passions of travel and technology was the obvious thing to do.
As our first step, we are conquering airport ground transportation. Our initial product shows you the shared-ride shuttles, airport service buses, limos, taxis, public transit and any other options for getting to and from your airport. Long term, we plan to connect all those cities and evolve into a transportation search engine that gets travelers from doorstep to destination by integrating the local ground transportation options with the buses, trains, planes and ferries that comprise the second leg of your journey. Our search engine will offer the option of booking all legs with one click, so travelers will not have to re-enter their info for every leg.
Currently, there is really no way to truly "travel like a local." How are California natives supposed to know about the $12 New York Airport Service bus from JFK to Manhattan? After my New York travel search nightmare, we did a brief survey and found there are more than 51 ways to and from JFK Airport alone!
The only option travelers have when searching for the best way to get to the airport is often the airport's website and Google search results or TripAdvisor forums. The comparisons travelers have to make are also inaccurate: how is one supposed to compare a flight that gets one to and from remote airports to a bus ride that gets one to and from city centers?
The multimodal, point-to-point search engine has been tried before, and failed, because they did not cover enough ground transportation options. A recent search on one of these engines for the East Coast did not return results for BoltBus, Megabus or any of the other charter bus lines that I know offer $1 fares there. They did not have Supershuttle or any of the local shuttle companies as a local option. As a consequence, the traveler doesn't trust that the search engine has truly found the best option for every leg of the journey, so they just go look it all up themselves and don't come back to that light-weight search engine.
The time is right for a truly comprehensive travel search engine. This all-in-one solution has become viable with the emergence of companies like Limos.com, Uber, Shuttlefare and so many others that we have partnered with, companies who are helping to conquer each individual form of transportation. These companies, in combination with better infrastructure for bus and train booking, will shortly make it possible to provide a true end-to-end solution.