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By Samra Khawaja
Mass Communications Intern
It’s a transportation service that’s taking a new approach in contributing to a green Richmond.
Founded by VCU alum Joey Anderson, and his brother Jeff Anderson, bioRide started out as a taxi service in 2010. By using leftover cooking grease from restaurants and processing it into biodiesel, the Anderson brothers envisioned revamping customer service in transportation.
“bioRide is a blend between a taxi as well as a higher service, like an on-demand limo,” said co-founder and VCU advertising alum Joey Anderson. “We like to see ourselves in the middle.”
bioRide has eight cars that are part of their fleet, but these eight cars are not the ordinary cab rides. bioRide includes three different Mercedes Benz models and their newest addition, a 2012 Volkswagen Passat.
“There are few diesel cars in America that we could pick from,” Anderson said. “We use biodiesel, so we have to have that diesel engine.”
Coinciding with the company’s style of traveling luxuriously, bioRide offers amenities similar to concierge services. Among these are free Wi-Fi, complimentary beverages, SiriusXM Radio and access to Apple products.
“We want to be the go-to transportation,” Anderson said.
Even after Joey graduated from VCU, the Anderson brothers continue to stay involved with the School of Mass Communications. This semester, they are serving as a client group for MASC 481 Completeness, an advertising capstone class.
According to Anderson, the class is not only helping bioRide by producing actual ad campaigns, but it’s also helpful to see what type of creative ideas the students can come up with in supporting the brand and spreading awareness.
“Our problem is no one knows about us,” Anderson said.
Erica Andersen, a senior creative advertising major, not only had class with Anderson before he graduated, but also is now in the advertising campaign class that is pitching ideas to bioRide.
“It’s also neat that he can come back to VCU, and we’re a resource for him,” Andersen said.
Within their groups, students are given a $10,000 proposed budget to develop a campaign for the brand. The groups serve as mini ad agencies, with each group member playing a role in presenting the final idea to the client.
“This is the first time we really get to work with a client this closely,” Andersen said.
Not only is bioRide helping current students at VCU, but they are also employing VCU alumni. Currently they have 23 employees, with six being VCU alumni. An additional five employees will graduate this year.
“Just knowing we’re giving jobs with an awesome purpose is a ‘wow’ moment I wake up to,” Anderson said.
Ian Newell graduated from VCU in 2009 and has been working with bioRide for about five months. Although he studied philosophy and religious studies, Newell began his career by owning a food cart that runs on a diesel generator. Since both Newell and the Anderson brothers were working with diesel, they partnered up to work together.
“I love waking up and making biodiesel because it’s so neat to take a waste product and make something that can run in cars,” Newell said.
Since bioRide’s establishment, the service has given back to the Richmond community by supporting non-profit organizations. For the Anderson brothers, the next step in bioRide is making the business grow and expand.
“When you think transportation, we want you to think bioRide,” Anderson said.
901 West Main Street, Room 2216 | P.O. Box 842034 | Richmond, Virginia 23284-2034 | Phone: (804) 828-2660 | Fax: (804) 828-9175 | email@example.com
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Updated: April 25, 2012