With the growing need for large rideshare services, a Texas A&M former student has developed a new craze with his business Fetii in College Station, which is beginning to expand to a larger market across Texas.
During his senior year, Matthew Iommi, Class of 2019, along with childhood best friend Justin Rath, bought a shuttle transportation service, previously known as Rockin J’s, which was run by college students to transport students around town for a low cash fee. Using the skills he learned as an economics and business major, Iommi has developed and grown his groupshare service Fetii and developed a craze of transporting large groups for a low cost while also offering a fun experience with bluetooth audio and lights for a memorable time.
“What [Rockin J’s] essentially did is transported these groups from point A to point B for $5 a person; everything was off the books, they just did cash and there was no website, it was just a phone,” Iommi said. “My senior year, it was kind of one of those relaxing, last years where I only had three classes to finish my degree, and I had leftover time, so we purchased [Rockin J’s], and we grew it, built out a website and added some more vehicles and eventually came up with the idea that this would be a great service with an app.”
Developing an app similar to other rideshare programs such as Lyft and Uber, Fetii has a unique twist — at each ride, a QR code is presented to patrons entering the van who can pay individually, for multiple people or for the whole group.
“It allows payment flexibility, so it's not where one booker is left with a large trip fare,” Iommi said. “Since there are multiple people riding, it can add up and each person can scan into the vehicle and either pay for themselves or pay for others.”
With success in the College Station area, the program has now expanded to the Austin area with a similar concept. Currently, the service has 23 vehicles for College Station and Austin, and hopes to add more. Rath said the program hopes to soon expand to Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles markets with the need for transportation in these areas.
“We do think this is not a need that's specific to a college town or Texas cities,” Rath said. “It's everywhere, especially in urban areas where people just tend to love to be together and they tend to go out together. The utility that we provide is getting groups from point A to point B together and also in a cost effective manner. We think that's a needed niche that's going to spread across the U.S.”
To use the service, groups must have at least five people, with the Fetii van holding five to 15 people and the Fetii bus holding 11 to 30 people. Additionally, groups may book in advance or reserve rides for special occasions such as weddings, concerts and organization events.
“The problem [for larger rideshares] has always been there. There's never been a solution,” Rath said. “[But] as we expand into different markets, and people start to not only realize that we have the service, but start to rely on [us] — meaning that they know when they're [having a] get together, that Fetii is going to be there for them, it'll [cause] the market to grow even bigger than it already is.”