Friday, January 30, 2015

Entrepreneur Is Driving Force Behind New Local Ridesharing Service ‘NOGA’

By Nita Keswick, Quilt Staff

A new taxi/ridesharing company serving addresses throughout Canoga Park that hopes to be the “next big thing” is the brainchild of a local craft beer brewer and former website designer. 

Called “NOGA,” the service offers an alternative to traditional cabs and public transportation with “a much quicker, yeah, more personalized experience,” according to NOGA company founder, president, and, as of yet, sole driver Brian Rauschebart. 

After downloading a computer application, or app, customers can summon Rauschebart to their current location via smart cellular telephone, or smartphone, where they will get in his 1975 Ford Gran Torino Squire station wagon (recognizable due to the large fun-fur beard - modeled after Rauschebart’s own impressive whiskers - attached to its grill) and he will drive them to their destination. But that’s where the similarities to regular taxicab service ends. 

“I put, like, a vintage Hungry Hungry Hippos game in the way-back that’s intentionally missing some marbles but has - get this - some raaandom pieces from Battleship mixed in,” says the ambitious 28-year old.

Riders themselves needn’t worry about getting hungry on their ride through Canoga Park city limits: Complimentary juice boxes and loose Cheerios are thoughtfully scattered throughout the vehicle. “Also I went to that Filipino market at Roscoe & DeSoto,” continues Rauschebart, “and bought a boatload of insane snacks - like squid chips and yam candy and stuff, with, like, absurd characters on the packages.” 

Brian Rauschebart, 'NOGA' founder and driver, heads out on Topanga Canyon Boulevard to refuel his
one-vehicle 'fleet' and "maybe drive around a bit, since I don't get good reception on my iPhone at home."
During the ride, customers can choose to listen to Rauschebart threaten to “turn this car around” (tongue-in-cheek, of course), a “Stuff You Missed In History” podcast about Nikola Tesla or a cassette tape of Rauschebart’s ex-girlfriend Amy playing 80s hits on a ukulele. 

So far the service has at least one steady customer, Rauschebart’s current girlfriend Sarah. “Um...yeah. He, um, convinced me to sell my Civic and use the money to invest in this thing, so now he has to drive me to and from work," she says. "And I can tell you I’m getting really tired of listening to what’s-her-name tunelessly warble and strum ‘Papa Don’t Preach.’”

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