By Isabella Kinkelaar
The buzz around campus, Buzz Rides that is, is a new transportation service free for UNC-CH students Tuesday through Saturday evenings.
Co-founder Joey Skavroneck is a sophomore in the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Skavroneck and his business partner Parker Draughon got the idea for their company after they went on a Kenan-Flagler global immersion elective trip to India. There they got to visit a variety of companies, study business management operations and most importantly ride around in open-air taxis, known as tuk-tuks. Skavroneck wanted to bring that experience back to Chapel Hill.
“It’s not just a ride home, it’s an experience,” he says. You can tell through his enthusiasm that he has a real desire to help the UNC community travel home safely, and isn’t just interested in making a profit.
Currently the company has four electric vehicles, all driven by volunteers who only accept tips as payment. “The drivers are people who care about getting kids home safe, and they love the interpersonal experience,” Skavroneck says.
His short-term goal for Buzz Rides is to get the cars fully wrapped in advertisements. Right now one car is covered in three-dimensional advertisements for Roote, a student-run nonprofit retailer of local, natural and sustainable products. Skavroneck is eager about the company’s next big move, which is the launch of the Buzz Rides app coming out within the next month.