LOS ANGELES (Circa) - Traffic in a big city can be really bad. So bad a study by Indrix finds you spend 104 hours driving in traffic every year.
Jerome Brenndon "JB" Adkins wants to help people in Los Angeles—the city with the worst traffic in the world—avoid traffic altogether with his sky taxi service, Skyryde.
"Instead of commuters hawking from the Valley to Santa Monica or wherever they work, we want to give them an alternative. Right now, there is no alternative," said Adkins.
That alternative is a website called GoSkyryde.com. Users can request a same-day flight on-demand, but it has to be to and from one of the 13 airports in the Los Angeles area.
"Time is money. So, essentially what we're doing is selling time," said Adkins.
That time comes at a price. Right now, a 16-mile trip from Van Nuys to Santa Monica costs about $234 on Skyryde.
"But if you split that with three people, that's cloer to $80. We're trying to get the [overall] price down closer to $100," said Adkins.
This isn't the first company to try air taxiing. Last year, Uber announced plans to launch UberAir, an air taxi service. For Thomas Anthony, a retired civil aviation security manager for the Federal Aviation Administration, these forays seem promising.
"Skyryde seems to be a good idea. Aviation is constantly evolving, and this appears a direction in which it can evolve," said Anthony.
While the FAA tells us Skyryde has cleared all regulatory hurdles to offer on-demand flights, Anthony foresees one big challenge for the company.
"There is a worldwide shortage of pilots, and the pilots are being snapped up left and right by big airlines," said Anthony.
Skyryde currently has one pilot, but as the number of people using the service grows, the company hopes to add more in the near future. It also has plans to launch a mobile app within the next few months. Adkins is also careful to make one last distinction.
"There's this notion that we're operating like an Uber. We're more like an airline than an Uber," said Adkins. "We're not just hiring pilots off the street because safety is our number one priority."
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