Many out there know this problem all too well. You receive a call from your Charlotte office to attend an out-of-town meeting. Rather than spend the night—racking up hotel expenses and time away from family—you plan to drive there and back in one day.
Only, this doesn’t work very well. As you drive, all you can think about is the work you aren’t getting done. In other words, your to-do list sits while you sit.
One Charlotte entrepreneur decided to do something about it.
Eminent domain attorney Keenya Justice has spent hours driving the mountains of North Carolina, serving the residents of its beautiful cities and towns. Meanwhile, she became increasingly frustrated spending hours driving.
The work day continued after arriving home to make up for lost time on the road. This seriously cut into her family time. As a result, the cycle was causing her stress. So, she came up with a solution.
Justice needed a driver. That way, she could use the time in the car more efficiently. She could answer emails, make phone calls and get caught up on other business-related tasks. In the end, she would find greater productivity, and more importantly, more family time.
In 2017, while talking with another parent at a popular transportation hub—her child’s bus stop—Justice hatched an idea. She hoped to reduce stress and regain productivity in her life and hopefully in the lives of many like her.
How Does It Work?
Similar to other rideshare apps, Intercity allows customers to book rides easily through their smartphones. But their scope was different than other rideshares. Rather than travel a few miles within a city, Intercity caters to customers seeking to travel out of town.
The destinations are nearby, driveable cities without the hassle and expense of flying or the limited schedules of trains. Intercity provides service from Charlotte to ten cities, including Raleigh, Wilmington, Columbia, and Atlanta.
“Our focus is on people who want to go and come back in the same day,” Cabral said.
To make things work smoothly, Intercity partnered with existing transportation companies. Currently they are partnering with Cornelius-based Masters Transportation. This is an established company with professional drivers who have gone through background checks through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Targeted toward area business travelers, Justice hopes locals will consider Intercity when making travel plans.
“Intercity needs to get in the mental menu of travel alternatives,” she said.
Getting On Board
In their company, Justice and Cabral each fulfill roles that play to their strengths.
Before working in the legal field, she spent five years in the banking industry. So, Justice works to streamline operations, steer marketing initiatives and improve customer experience.
Cabral leads Intercity’s technical team. He defines the company’s software development strategy and enhances the algorithm at the heart of the operation. He has been a technology consultant, most recently in the finance industry.
“Nothing is going to be perfect right away,” Cabral said. “You need to be invested to take advice and act upon it to improve the product.”
What are the company’s next steps? Intercity was selected to participate in NC Idea Labs cohort next month.
“NC Idea Labs wants to support you,” Justice said. “They support you after you leave the cohort.”
Want to learn more about Charlotte’s startups? Read our Founder Profiles.