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Students launch Leap college carpooling network

This fall, senior mechanical engineering students Patrick Beal and Brian Bachir launched Leap, a mobile carpooling application for Ohio State students to connect and share rides to the same destination, split the cost of gas and discover new friendships.

“Our aim is to link students to travel together on trips home, to other universities or to off-campus events in an effort to decrease our student body’s carbon footprint, permit students without cars to travel long distances without relying on their parents or relatives and help students with cars reduce the burden of fuel costs,” Beal explained. 

The new Leap app was released to Ohio State students early in fall semester with very favorable results. 

Brian Bachir (left) and Patrick Beal (right), the masterminds behind LeapThe idea evolved as Beal found himself stuck on campus during his first three years at Ohio State missing the independence of having a car, while Bachir enjoyed the freedom of having a car, traveling easily to events and family gatherings.  But as a college student on a tight budget and with a row of empty seats in the back of his car, Bachir became frustrated.  “I couldn’t find an effective way to reach out to fellow Buckeyes to share trips, make new experiences and share the cost of gas,” he said.

Over the past year, Beal and Bachir have worked diligently to take Leap from concept to reality driven by the opportunity to make a positive impact on students’ lives and the environment.  They spread the word by handing out business cards on the Oval, expanding into social media, developing a logo and eventually a mobile app.  “We created four sets of Ohio State corn hole boards that we have been raffling off throughout the school year,” Bachir said.  “To be entered into the next raffle, students should download Leap’s app and register for an account,” he noted. 

The app is gaining traction with students on campus with 201 students using Leap in the first four weeks of the semester, successfully connecting students with nine carpools, saving 2,043 miles of driving, 88 gallons of gasoline and 1,730 pounds of carbon dioxide. 

Nathan Balli, a sophomore computer science and engineering student recently carpooled home through Leap for a weekend family gathering.  “Connecting through Leap saved seven hours of driving, was more comfortable and less stressful than a bus ride,” he said.

Beal and Bachir have plans to expand Leap to other universities including Texas A&M University, Michigan State University and Penn State University.  “At Ohio State, we are continually challenged to look at the world differently and make a lasting impact,” Beal said.  “We hope to expand Leap beyond Ohio State to benefit as many college students as possible.”

To learn more about Leap or to download the app click here