Photo by Roadify.
Like many app developers, the team behind Roadify chose to start building its main product in iOS. The big vision for the company is to give you one view for all your multi-modal transit options.
Users should be able to figure out whether they are better off taking a bus to a subway, or even light rail to a car share, without switching between maps (we’ve complained about this before). We previously wrote about the company’s work with NICE bus, on Long Island.
The company has learned a lot about what its users are looking for and it will release an updated version of the app on Google Play incorporating more of those insights. What’s new here is that they’ve put all their latest ideas into that Android version, so, for once, Android users will be ahead of those on iOS (then, of course, the team will work to update the iOS version, so the gap won’t last forever).
CEO Scott Kolber explained the big vision for the company this way, “People want to use them all [transit options], but they don’t want to have 20 different apps and 20 different accounts. So that’s what we’re building.” The aim is frequent use, in short bursts.
The revenue comes from becoming a retail point of sale for ground transportation options. So, for example, as transit authorities begin to enable NFC readers at stations and you can keep your transit pass on your phone, Roadify can become the way you refill it. Or Roadify could hold your “key” to bikeshare or car share.
The other interesting revenue stream for the company has been licensing their data on screens with the most pertinent transit info for that exact location. So if you see screens with transit info around the Barclays Center, that’s a Roadify product. They hope to get those screens inside a lot more places.
The company can make these location specific portals anywhere. Kolber said they could make a portal specific to this reporters’ home in Crown Heights, constantly updating with all the streams of info about nearby lines.
The value add Roadify makes for consumers is, at the core, the data. Kolber said: “We have an app, but the app is a distribution channel for the data that we have. Just as the signage is for the data we have.”
The company is building a window into regularly updated schedules, service advisories, real time data (they have all the MTA bus data, by the way) and even updates from riders scraped from Twitter. All in one screen on your mobile device.
The team of five has two people in Brooklyn, including Kolber, with a development team in Seattle. The locals are working remotely from Park Slope and Fort Green.
While there are many other transit apps out there, Kolber argues that few are trying to put all your options in one place. On the back end, that’s a lot of data to keep up to date, and on the front end, it’s a design challenge. They don’t think they have a lot of competitors working to be your transit go-to, not just in your town, but every town you go to.
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