Where Community Meets CommuteIsmael El-Amin
For a little over three years, I have been hard at work designing and developing complicated technical details for PiggyBack. The software engineering side of me is proud of that. For the past 18 months, I’ve been wearing the parenting hat, more specifically the south-side of Chicago parenting hat. The features for PiggyBack related to the community impact are by far the proudest pieces of the platform thus far. Youth transportation is not a new industry. Services exist all over the place where families can pay premium prices for reliable service. Families can also opt for a no-name private van’s free/reduced fares but potentially sacrifice safety and reliability. Other families decide not to send their children to a better school or extracurricular activity because transportation isn’t possible. I believe PiggyBack indeed provides a safe, reliable, and affordable option for all families. The vision to connect parents online to find each other has blossomed into a post-Covid rejuvenation of the youth activity industry. There is a transportation crisis impacting the park districts, daycares, sports leagues, visual arts facilities, and schools. Even when the dollars are available, access to a suitable form of transportation is frequently a hurdle. PiggyBack is already filling the need of many South Side residents and those around the city. The final piece of the puzzle is the direct financial impact on the community. PiggyBack offers youth facilities to sign up as Community Partners. For every PiggyBack ride that starts or terminates with our partner facilities, we will donate a share of the profits from those rides to that facility. As a result, the families utilizing PiggyBack re-invest in their schools and after-school activities while catching a break on their daily driving grind.