Google's new crowdsourced transit app is now available in DC - Technical.ly DC

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Nov. 6, 2019 10:23 am

Google’s new crowdsourced transit app is now available in DC

The Pigeon app was created by Area 120, Google's internal lab for experimental projects. Through the app, users can provide real-time transit data and get commute notifications.
There’s a new transit app in D.C. from Google.

There's a new transit app in D.C. from Google.

(Photo courtesy of Pigeon)

Area 120, Google’s internal lab for experimental projects, has expanded its Pigeon app to D.C. this week.

The new crowdsourced transit app uses crowdsourcing and open transit data to provide real-time and personalized transit options to users. Some of that real-time transit data includes reroutes, escalator outages at metro stations, delays, crowd levels and more. After launching in New York City in September 2018, the Pigeon app is now available for iOS users in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and D.C.

To add a creative spin, users who submit transit data earn points that will grant them access to city-themed Pigeon avatars.

Pigeon founder Laura Rokita told Technical.ly that she is aware of potential competitors, like Transit and locally born TransitSceen’s City Motion app, but she said Pigeon is different since it provides real-time crowd levels, up-to-the-second delay or disruption alerts, and even photos and comments to give you more confidence about what’s really happening.

The team behind Pigeon also visualizes activities, like delays, on the app’s map screen and uses a heatmap to make it clear where other users are experiencing congestion, Rokita shared.

The Pigeon app was created by a small team at the three-year-old in-house incubator at Google’s office in Chelsea, New York. The residency program within Google allows staff members to work on experimental projects alongside startup experts.

Rokita said there’s no time limit on how long the incubator will experiment with and expand the Pigeon app, so for now she’s focused on scaling and expanding the tech to more cities.

The organization reported that Pigeon will be available on Android early next year.

Google’s crowdsourcing transit data app, Pigeon. (Courtesy image)

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