Rally OurBus: The Road to Success

Rally OurBus graphic.

Taking on the public transportation industry by providing a better (and cheaper) experience for travelers and commuters might seem like a tall order. But, Rally OurBus set out to change the way we see crowdsourced travel. Originally two separate brands (Rally and OurBus), the two transportation technology startups recently merged to create a user-friendly bus network serving communities across the US and Canada. 

“Rally OurBus represents the leading managed marketplace and bus technology for regional travel in the United States.” Siheun Song, one of the founders of OurBus, says. “We operate with two consumer brands: OurBus for intercity travel and Rally for charter and events. Together, Rally OurBus has transported millions of riders traveling to all our favorite destinations.”

The Starting Point

Rally started, as many startups do, by solving a problem.

“We wanted to send a few thousand people to a political rally in DC, and buses make sense for this [case].” From here, the brand went on to partner with the NFL, NASCAR, and dozens of music festivals. During this time, OurBus also innovated the current mass mobility options by offering affordable bus rides on popular commuter routes. Eventually, offering rides that went from coast to coast.

The motivation for starting a business of this kind, however, is much more personal. “The [Rally OurBus] founders are all people of color and live in the NY Metro area. For many immigrants especially, all we know is entrepreneurship and making things happen with as little resources as possible.”

Since the merger, Rally OurBus is now serving 40 states and provinces in the US and Canada, with two headquarters in Buffalo and New York City, New York. This expansion has allowed both services to reach a wider audience and provide their services to more people across the US and Canada, which suits their company values that Song states as, “E pluribus unum: we can go farther together than alone.”

OurBus tour map between Buffalo and New York City

Gaining Momentum

Competing with established transportation companies such as Greyhound would always pose a challenge. Fortunately, Rally and OurBus both offered something bigger bus companies didn’t — a better experience for a rider that catered specifically to their travel needs.

Their marketing strategy? Ranking in organic search results. As Song says, “Search for ‘bus to Atlantic city from nyc’ or ‘bus to Buffalo Bills,’ and you’ll find Rally OurBus on the top of organic search results.” But, search engine optimization (SEO) wasn’t what initially put Rally OurBus on the map — their first 5000 customers were acquired using word-of-mouth marketing on online community boards such as Facebook and Reddit.

More Than Transportation

While Rally OurBus provides exceptional mass mobility services, they are more than just a transportation technology company. They are a diverse group of hardworking founders and innovators — and proud of it.

“There’s a lot about us that’s unique, but these days, I’m really appreciative of our diversity. Especially of the four founders,” says OurBus founder, Siheun. “[The founders]: one woman, one member of the LGBTQIA community, and three immigrants born abroad; all four of us are people of color, and we have a founder in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s.”

OurBus founder Siheun

Image: Rally OurBus cofounder Siheun Song

In addition to this, the company is now co-located in three US time zones, as well as Mexico, Costa Rica, India, Philippines, and Europe, with an expanding business. “These days, we’re onboarding [about] three people per week, for a total of [roughly] 30, as of today.” With employees spanning across the globe and plans to continue growing, we can’t wait to see how Rally OurBus continues to help define mass mobility.

Editorial Disclaimer: This page was updated on 7/1/2021. 

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