Executive Spotlight: Tawheed Abdul-Raheem, tripBuddy

Posted: 08/21/2019
Category: Member Spotlight

tripBuddy is a peer to peer carpooling platform that makes it easy for employees and coworkers to ride to work together. We connect people in a meaningful way through a shared commuting experience. The platform puts a lot of emphasis on bringing together people who work in the same company to help establish a trustworthy and safe experience for everyone involved.

What are you and your organization seeking to achieve?

As a company, we seek to popularize the concept of carpooling and eliminate any barriers that usually occur when the idea comes up. Our platform uses cutting edge technology and the power of A.I to take the pain out of finding a carpool partner. While the idea of hailing a ride has been around for as long as cars have existed, companies like Uber and Lyft have used technology to revolutionize the ridesharing industry and make it accessible to everyone. Our hope is to do the same with carpooling.

How did you get to where you are today?

I got to where I am today through persistence and fervent curiosity. As a startup CEO, I am constantly wearing different hats, from software, to marketing, to writing, and the only way I can effectively perform in these roles is by being inquisitive about these areas and learning about them.

How have you seen the TDM industry change?

The TDM industry has gone through various phases on the way to becoming an advocate and voice for commuters and how they get to work. Over the past few years, I have seen a lot of emphasis being focused around the behavioral change in helping the average person shift their thinking and approach in viewing various forms of commuting to get to work. I have witnessed a huge change in adopting and leveraging the power of technology companies to help them achieve their goals and objectives.

Where do you see the industry going in the next 10 years?

In the next few years, I do see the harnessing of the data that has been accumulated about transportation behaviors and patterns to help lead the charge in autonomous vehicles. Our cities are going to be much smarter by leveraging and forming bonds with TDM’s and technology companies to share knowledge and insights into transportation. I predict that there would be high utilization in shared mobility.

What keeps you motivated?

The traffic chaos and gridlocks in Boston are what really gets me going every day. I see a lot of inefficiencies with our basic mobility problem and it irks me to know that cars are the most underutilized assets we own. I question this every day and it drives me to think about how to make it better.

Secondly, living in Boston, the city rated as having the worst and most congested commute in the US in 2018, traffic is always in the back of my mind. Even if it’s just going out to a friend’s house on the weekend, I have to be ever cognizant of traffic getting into or out of the city. I am constantly being reminded almost every day of what I am trying to prevent and reduce.

What has been the most fulfilling moment in your career?

I find a lot of joy and fulfillment in being able to mentor young and passionate students who are looking to make a huge impact in the field of transportation. Just recently I had the joy of taking students from Boston University under my wings and giving them a taste of what it is like to operate a high-intensity startup.

What is a great piece of advice you have received? Have you put it to use?

Building a company is incredibly challenging to say the least, and a great piece of advice that keeps me going is to know that a setback is always a setup for a comeback. As we go through challenges and obstacles in shaping our society, I am reminded of the importance of appreciating the journey and never taking it for granted. I’ve never viewed this advice as a blind progression forward, but rather as careful metered steps towards my goals, and never regressing to something I know doesn’t work.

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