By Spencer Feingold
The carpooling network Scoop is launching its first operation outside of the West Coast in the Motor City itself, Detroit, the company announced this week.
"Detroit has such a rich history of innovation," Robert Sadow, Scoop's co-founder, told Cheddar in an interview Thursday. "It felt like a natural place for us to focus on expansion and drive impact for the city."
Founded in 2015, the platform partners with other companies to connect co-workers living in the same area and facilitates carpooling to the office. Scoop — which does not hire drivers like Uber ($UBER) and Lyft ($LYFT) — instead allows its users to decide whether they want to ride or drive. The riders pay a small fee that contributes to the carpool, and the drivers get paid to cover gas and wear-and-tear.
"These are all co-workers and neighbors. These are folks that are already going back and forth to work, and we make it possible for them to share trips one way at a time," Sadow said.
Scoop has already facilitated over 6 million carpools for more than 50 businesses, which include major brands such as LinkedIn, Expedia, and T-Mobile.
"The commuters that we serve are the folks that live 20 or 30 or 50 miles away from work — don't live on a transit line — are stuck, and historically all of them drive alone," Sadow said, noting how the company's business differs from traditional ride-hailing services.
In Detroit, the company has partnered with Bedrock, a real estate firm that specializes in strategic development of commercial and residential buildings in urban areas. Bedrock already has over 100 commercial properties within their portfolio across the Detroit metro area.
"This partnership with Scoop allows us to offer a reliable and effective method for commuting to and through our city," Kevin Bopp, Bedrock's vice president of parking and mobility, said in a statement. "And, as more and more downtown institutions take advantage of this initiative, Scoop will be able to expand its footprint and invest even more aggressively to serve a broader Michigan base."