NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - What started as a vision to reduce carbon emissions in our city has turned into a story of hope and independence. 

At first glance, most people are attracted to the Earth Rides ridesharing app because of the flashy Teslas and brand-new electric cars. 

The company is already unique to Nashville, but CEO Raven Hernandez says its the passengers that make it one-of-a-kind. 

“There was a student that would stand at the bus stop — to get to work at 9, he would stand there at 7:30. For me to get to class at 8, I would leave at 7:30.”

Hernandez has always had a passion for health. She launched Earth Rides on October 1 to clean up our city’s air.

Recently, she and her team took the company a step further by aiding intellectually and physically disabled students. They’re now partnering with Lipscomb University to assist their IDEAL Program.

“It’s one of the most gratifying parts of this business. They’re still paying, we’re still providing them the same service with just a tad more mindfulness, because our drivers have gone through a training program,” Hernandez said.

She tells News4 that students in the program miss up to 20 hours of class time and 24 hours of scheduled work because they don’t have a ride.

“They’re being forgotten by some of the bus transportations by Metro — they’ll book the ride and then they never show,” Hernandez said.

She and her employees started training on how to better serve disabled communities. This helps students afford rides, travel safely, and regain a sense of self.

“Now this student is paying $12 for a ride. Her mother called us crying because her daughter said she feels like she has her independence,” Hernandez said.

The company’s success has sky-rocketed since their launch. They’ve recently partnered with Two Rivers Ford and Patagonia for clothing and ride donations for IDEAL Program students.

The company also guarantees they will never cancel a ride or surge pricing.

To learn more about the Earth Rides app click here.

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