California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Never be stranded without a ride

Grant Kellogg, a former California Lutheran University student, was on his way to the Coachella music festival when his ride cancelled without notice. Without a ride, he was stuck in Phoenix and left to fend for himself and to find a way to Indio, California. Kellogg didn’t have enough money to fly to Palm Springs so he found himself in quite the predicament.

Kellogg said he was in complete desperation and frustration which spurred him to jump into action. He entered a competition named Startup Weekend at the Cal Lutheran huddle campus in Westlake Village. Kellogg won the competition with the idea of Coast Car.Co.

“I found that there wasn’t an app that allowed people to go to events, festivals or just major cities,” Kellogg said.

With a team of developers Kellogg was able to hit the ground running with his newly renamed app, Seat Surf.

So, what is Seat Surf?

It’s a ride-sharing app that allows people to purchase a seat in someone’s car who is already driving to a music festival or major city for a reasonable price.

According to Kellogg, organized ride-share companies and popular apps, like Uber and Lyft, have not filled this niche. Some people may not be able to afford to spend  $300 on a trip.

Kellogg has incorporated aspects of current transportation apps such as personalized profile, detailed information about the driver, their dos and don’ts within their car and basic preliminary trip information.

This is a step up from current apps that display little to no information about the driver. Knowing about the person who is going to be driving other people is a good step in the direction of trust.

“The amount of information displayed allows the surfers to know if they would be willing to spend three hours in a car with a driver,” Kellogg said. “If they do not feel they can, you don’t have to ride. And same with the driver. If they don’t meet the requirements then they don’t have to accept.”

The driver is also allowed more freedom to do their job more effectively and with fewer constrictions. There aren’t any restrictions on the make or model of car the car and the surfer is subject to however the driver operates their vehicle.

Furthermore, drivers pick their rates and the seats are reserved individually. The more one hears about this app, the less it sounds like hitchhiking and more along the lines of an organized and much more user-friendly rideshare company.

“If you want to drive, you can pick people up, maybe make a friend or connection wherever they’re going [and] get some gas money along the way. It does not get much more simple than that,” Kellogg said.

Along with the vastly more open layout, surfers are allowed to customize their own trip to make it more comfortable. This includes the amount of space in the car upon reserving a seat, music if the driver has an auxiliary cable or if the driver is smoke-friendly.

Kellogg is not alone in Seat Surf, he has a marketing director who has a very qualified background in business. Robert Kyler, junior and president of the Entrepreneurship club, has had experience with creating apps.

“Grant and I have been best buddies, traveling. I got seriously involved about a month ago. We knew we wanted to get one of our ideas off the ground,” Kyler said. “We wanted to make our dreams come true, start a business, run a business and be a part of something we’re passionate about.”

Starting a company from the ground up, with great minds at the helm, have proven to bring success and in this case, allowing the average person to drive or be driven for a fair price.

Seat Surf will launch this holiday season in the app store.

Connor McKinney
Staff Writer
Published November 4th, 2015

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