Entrepreneurial Team Creates Ride Service Business for Pokemon Go Players

Penn. group profits off of Pokemon trainers trying to catch 'em all.

ByABC News
July 12, 2016, 7:02 PM

— -- An entrepreneurial Pennsylvania team has set up a ride service specifically for Pokemon trainers trying to catch 'em all in the Pokemon Go app.

The Pokemon Go app has exploded in popularity over the past week, with more than 7.5 million downloads, according to Forbes.

This team has capitalized on the app's unique ability to bring together real life and the virtual world of little monsters.

Pogopgh (colloquially called PoGo, with PGH at the end as an acronym for Pittsburgh) drivers, who are seasoned Pokemon trainers themselves, escort other players of the game to popular destinations, including Pokemon gyms, Pokespots and other hubs.

"We take people to popular Pokestops in our area that we know have had the harder-to-find Pokemon. We can also take you to [Pokemon] gyms, you can drop your Pokemon off and they can level off," Pogopgh partner T.J. Harris told ABC News today.

Harris said business has exploded since he and his friends started two days ago, when his buddy Tom Larkin put up a post on Facebook offering rides to popular attractions in the virtual Pokemon world and real-life greater Pittsburgh area.

The group has been "fully booked" the past two days between the hours of 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and have been charging $25 an hour, Harris said.

"It started off as 'I wonder if anybody would actually do this?' and it turned into 'Oh, everybody would actually do this,'" Harris said.

Since its launch, Pogopgh has already been approached by Ride VIP, a Pittsburgh transportation service.

"We're looking to have our own button on their app as soon as tomorrow," Harris said of the new partnership.

Requirements are strict for new drivers: You must be a Pokemon Go player yourself who has reached at least level 10, or a guide who has reached level 10 or higher will accompany you.

Growth is also booming, and Harris said the team is talking about expanding to other states, with their partnership with Ride VIP.

"There is going to be some other really cool stuff that we will try to integrate such as bar crawls," Harris added, which takes Pokemon trainers bar-hopping at locations close to Pokemon gyms and Pokestops.

"It's a really fun game and we are really happy to be able to give people the opportunity to get out and socialize," Harris said.