Vancouver resident, 31-year-old Pan Khantidhara and Maple Ridge resident 28-year-old Mae Woods collaborated to create Howbsy.com. (Khantidhara’s photo contributed, Woods’ photo credited to Jose Palma)

Vancouver resident, 31-year-old Pan Khantidhara and Maple Ridge resident 28-year-old Mae Woods collaborated to create Howbsy.com. (Khantidhara’s photo contributed, Woods’ photo credited to Jose Palma)

VIDEO: Maple Ridge start-up shows wait times at businesses across Lower Mainland

Female entrepreneurs from Maple Ridge and Vancouver collaborate on new venture

A free website is helping people across the Fraser Valley avoid wait times at businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

Maple Ridge resident Mae Woods, 28, and Vancouver resident Pan Khantidhara, 31, collaborated to create Howbsy.com.

“I’m very happy that a start-up is coming out of Maple Ridge,” Woods, the Maple Ridge Secondary grad beamed.

“We wish we did do it sooner from all the feedback. We get dozens of emails everyday and it’s absolutely amazing – a lot of them are requesting a store and a lot of them are saying thank you,” said Woods. “Me and Pan just built the platform but it’s really the community helping each other because its 100 per cent crowd sourced.”

READ MORE: Grocery store employees face COVID-19 risk to serve their communities

The idea for the website came after Khantidhara’s mom returned home frustrated from having to wait in long lines to enter businesses.

“She came home and she was really annoyed with how long the lines were and Pan, who is my co-founder is a software engineer, and she had the idea that maybe we can build a website to show the wait times,” Woods explained.

It took all of five days for Khantidhara to build the website and the pair officially launched it on April 24.

In its first week the website had 20,000 users, as of Monday it was up to 45,000.

READ MORE: Normally taken for granted, B.C. truckers now in the spotlight

“I live in Maple Ridge and it was very important to me to have all of the Fraser Valley,” Woods noted. “We have all of the cities in the Fraser Valley already added – all the way from Vancouver to Chilliwack and everything in between.”

So how does it work?

[story continues below post]

“Anyone in the community can update the time, it only takes 10 seconds. While you’re waiting in line the hope is that you update the time, so other people who are thinking of shopping will get an accurate depiction of how long it will be,” Woods explained. “As we continue to grow we’re getting more and more updates… meaning it is more and more accurate, which is amazing to see.”

The female entrepreneurs continue to add more cities and businesses to the website.

“This project also can help people stay outside of their house as little time as possible to avoid people in the quarantine period,” Woods added.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusMaple Ridge

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

VIDEO: Maple Ridge start-up shows wait times at businesses across Lower Mainland

Just Posted

The B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C. is shown on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Langley to seek COVID-19 infrastructure grants

The provincially-administered funds could be used in flood prevention

Langley’s Maryalice Wood, 71, won Cranberries BC Culinary Contest in October 2020 for her cranberry walnut cheese ball recipe. (Coreen Rodger Berrisford/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley woman creates winning cranberry walnut cheese ball recipe

Maryalice Wood won the Cranberries BC Culinary Contest

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Langley resident disappointed with paper’s lack of Nov. 25 coverage

Reader critical of paper for not covering International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women

Townhouses for sale in the Willoughby neighbourhood of Langley on Dec. 2, 2020. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Houses selling fast in Langley in November

Real estate markets continued to see high sales and rising prices

A Langley high school teacher was handed a one-day suspension for ‘physically intimidating’ Grade 7 student during a basketball game in February of 2016 (Black Press Media file)
Langley high school teacher gets one-day suspension for ‘physically intimidating’ Grade 7 student

Lost his temper because student was using football terms as a joke during basketball game

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read