Founder of Share Transport Company, Ryan McManus and Hoa McManus, co-founder and whose mother came to America as a refugee from Vietnam, started out their business in 2016 building software that they thought they could sell to organizations to help them better manage the transportation programs they were running.
“What we heard from our customers was that they don’t want that. They wanted to be out of the transportation business and wanted someone who can handle all of them,” Ryan told New Americans magazine. But In two years of operation, they grew Share from two vehicles to 55 and from seven workers to over 90 workers.
“We decided to work in transportation because transportation impacts everyone. It is the social determinant of opportunity. If you can’t get to job, you can’t get to school and you can’t get to health care then your opportunities are limited.
According to Ryan, “Hoa specifically saw the need for transportation in health care when she was working at Ohio State. Also, growing up Hoa was very active with her mother. She helped to resettle others. Transportation is one of the big challenges for individuals that are coming to this country.
“In a city like Columbus the option really comes down to buying a car. Immediately you start buying a car you are on a circle of debt that you really can’t get away from. We see that we will be good by focusing on building a transportation company that helps individuals that need access to job, education and health care.
“In 2016 we got our first investment from Jaguar Land Rover. That gave us the funding to be able to find an opportunity in the automobile industry where we can be successful. It is an industry with a very high barrier of entry.
“In summer of 2017 we started with two vehicles. I signed a personal guarantee on it and I did a lot of things that general business advice may tell you not to do. Often as entrepreneur in the very early days you have to do things that others won’t.
“I drove sometime, Hoa drove sometime and we had five drivers. Three months later we got two additional vehicles and 10 months later we have 55. From January of 2018 to December 2018 we went from four to 55 vehicles,” Ryan disclosed.
Explaining the mode of operations, Ryan said, “We make contract with organizations; they could be employers, schools, seniors’ community, or government. The organizations will introduce Share to members of their communities. And depending on how we contract with the organization the riders may or may not have a portion of the ride they cover. To employers we think the 50-50 split is the best model because the employees get value out of it. For seniors and students they are not paying for this ride. The organizations pay or some others are paying for the ride.
“What Share does is we aggregate all of those requested rides from all those organizations to build our routes in advance to fill as many seats as possible. So we are getting five to six or seven people per vehicle.
The riders, he added, “know about Share because of their employers. We look for group of individuals that are all going to the same place or coming from the same place on a regular basis. Our riders take 30 to 40 trips per month. They rely on us for every day services. We serve first, second and third shift. “
With plans to cover most Midwest cities that “look like Columbus” which include Cincinnati, Cleveland and Detroit, Michigan, Ryan said, “Right now we are hiring, we have positions in operations, we have positions for drivers, and we have positions for customer service. We expect to add over 100 jobs in the next year across varieties of different positions.
While commending the entrepreneurial skill of Hoa, the wife and co-founder as possessing “that immigrant spirit that there are no barriers in this country to opportunities if you put in the work and that is the American dream. I encourage new Americans to encourage their children to pursue careers in technology because that is a huge opportunity in the future.”