I love the mysteries of travel. Every time I arrive at a new airport, I’m bursting with questions.

Will I get nice weather all week? Are the beaches as pretty as the pictures? Is this a real airport shuttle bus? Should I really be climbing into a creepy windowless panel van? What’s that toe-curling smell? And why are there handcuffs attached to all our seats?

I can’t be the only one who’s arrived in an airport, exhausted, then gambled on an airport shuttle van that might be (A) deadlier than the accommodations in the horror film Hostel or (B) more expensive than my entire flight. Also no fun: asking for help (in a foreign language) at an ‘information desk’ that may just be another taxi service.

Fortunately Mozio is here to help.

Mozio is a free search engine that compiles & compares airport ground transportation. Shared-ride shuttle buses, trains, taxis, limos, pedicabs, whatever hustles you away from an airport. Soon they’ll all be searchable on Mozio so you can shop for the best deal in your price range.

Granted, you can already search for all this information yourself. That’s sort of what the Internet’s for. But trust me … it will take you hours that you’ll never get back. Too many mom-and-pop transport websites are hard to navigate, offer only partial or outdated information, and they’d rather jab a knife into their bus tires than take an online booking. If I had to describe these websites with a sound, it’d be a loud, honking yawn aimed right at your face.


Instead, Mozio wants to save you time and stress by offering all this research in one simple, reliable site.

Mozio’s website states:

“We believe that the hardest part of travelling is the ‘final mile,’ getting from the airport to the hotel, from the train station to the hostel, and we are helping to aggregate the ‘long-tail of transportation so you can efficiently find out about all the best local options and ‘travel like a local.’”

Founded by two former Berkeley frat boys, CEO David Litwak and CTO Joseph Metzinger, Mozio is currently in private Beta mode. For now, you can search ground transport options for airports in New York, Washington, D.C. and the Metro Boston area. Litwak, who’s travelled to 65 countries, told the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal that he got the idea for Mozio “after being driven crazy by the travel planning process.”

Mozio’s initial target market? The 30.5 million international visitors a year who land in the top 10 U.S. cities’ airports. They’re also planning a premium service for travel agents which will offer more detailed, data-rich searches. Mozio will make its money by taking referral fees (I hesitate to call them ‘kickbacks’) from the ground transport companies.

To test out Mozio yourself (and avoid the windowless handcuff van), click here.

— Ken Hegan

BING: top 10 best and worst airports?

Read more of Ken’s MSN travel posts here and follow Ken (to victory!) on Twitter

Sources: Tnooz, Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal