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March 5, 2018

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Nashville based social impact technology company Hytch, LLC and their partners have rewarded Tennessee commuters for sharing more than 100,000 miles in less than three weeks since launching their free smartphone app, Hytch Rewards, on Feb. 9, 2018.

Hytch Rewards uses synchronized GPS technology to validate and reward ridesharing behavior.

Nissan North America, headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, became the first community partner to sponsor cash incentives earned by people who share rides.  By identifying specific destinations for incentives, Hytch is demonstrating the potential for companies to directly influence and shape local and regional transit behavior – and creating a raving fan base for their sponsors.

Highlighting a new partnership with Franklin Synergy Bank, Hytch Co-Founder and CEO Mark Cleveland points to their logo, prominently displayed in the “Cash Out” screen of their app that pays people to share rides.

“That’s a bank contributing to solutions,” says Cleveland.  “I think Franklin Synergy Bank just took the term community bank to a whole new level by investing in people every time they make a decision to share a ride in Williamson, Davidson and Rutherford counties.”

Recent FDIC data shows that Franklin Synergy Bank is the deposit share market leader in Williamson County as well as the city of Franklin.

“As a community bank Franklin Synergy is proud to be a part of the solution to solving our local traffic issues and to partner with Hytch,” Frankin Synergy Bank Chief Operating Officer Kevin Herrington said. “This partnership strategically aligns with our mission to bring technological advanced banking products to our customers, so the decision was easy.”

Not just a community bank, Franklin Financial Network, Inc., the bank’s parent company, completed an initial public offering in March, 2015. The stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “FSB”.

“Partners set their own rules for rewards,” Cleveland said. “Our partners establish precise coordinates for reward zones down to a single building and parking boundary. They can also set parameters for how much can be earned per mile, what time of day rewards can be earned, and who is rewarded as employees, drivers and passengers.”

 “It’s all about reducing traffic, which affects everyone,” Hytch president Steven Buhrman said. “Congestion causes increased accidents, vehicle wear and tear, heightened driver stress, reduced productivity, and puts pressure on our road network and parking resources.  And more cars on the road means more emissions and more pollution. These are all topics of interest among our partners.”

The rate of adoption during the past two weeks — almost 1,000 individuals have downloaded the Hytch Rewards app — demonstrates that cash rewards can serve as a rallying point and a big source of motivation for commuters who decide to share more rides.

“In the world of real estate development where parking spaces are minimized in order to maximize land use, a solution like Hytch Rewards helps,” says Jimmy Granbery, CEO of H.G. Hill Realty Company. “Hytch Rewards can get more people to businesses in fewer cars, especially in city centers where parking is not required by code.”

Nissan North America sponsors $0.01 per mile for rides ending anywhere else in Tennessee, and $0.05 per mile for rides ending in the 10-county area known as Middle Tennessee. Commuters earn an additional $0.05 per mile from H.G. Hill Realty for shared rides ending in Maryland Farms, in Brentwood.

“The topic of ‘mobility’ is changing the way automakers view making and selling cars, and how the public interacts with vehicles,” says Dan Teeter, director of Vehicle Connected Services at Nissan North America.

“We want to incentivize a change in behavior where we get more drivers and riders coming together to share experiences, share one vehicle instead of two vehicles, reduce congestion on our highways, and improve quality of life for everyone who uses public and private transportation on the roads. Nissan Intelligent Mobility is all about making transportation safer, smarter, and more enjoyable to everyone. Hytch Rewards provides us with a local opportunity to do something really tangible in this space.”

Companies, organizations, and universities also have the option to sponsor rewards made specifically available to employees, members, or students, through the use of group codes — a partnership approach chosen by Onin Staffing and Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee.

Nashville is the pilot city, and Tennessee is the pilot region. Hytch Rewards plans to expand coverage to new geographical areas. The platform can operate wherever rewards are funded by regional or national partnerships.  More information about current Hytch partners and partnerships can be found at HytchRewards.com/partner.

About Hytch Rewards:

Hytch Rewards is an app for iOS and Android that validates, tracks and rewards ridesharing behavior using groundbreaking technology developed in Nashville, Tennessee. Hytch Rewards is funded in part by a grant through the State of Tennessee, employer partners like Onin Staffing and Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, and reward partners, including Nissan North America, Sprint, H.G. Hill Realty Company, and Franklin Synergy Bank. Hytch Rewards enables individuals to earn cash rewards for every shared mile through the app, including carpooling, ride-hailing service, and public transit. To learn more, visit HytchRewards.com.

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