Bus riders: there’s an app for you
by Lilliana Guimaraes
Aug 16, 2011 | 2206 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print

While many New Yorkers still struggle to plan ahead their daily schedules, a new iPhone Application will help bus riders save time by looking up schedules and vehicle locations.

The app, Roadify, was awarded the grand prize in the city’s NYC BigApps Competition for blending social networking with real-time, accurate transportation information, according to a statement from the Roadify marketing and design team. It was later named the MTA’s “App of the Week.”

Roadify is a GPS-based, free app based on rider updates and the MTA’s database. It helps commuters steer clear of traffic, find parking, hop on the bus, catch a train, and more.

The app covers the majority of bus lines in the five boroughs and Long Island.

Dylan Goelz, Roadify’s co-fonder, said the company is launching a large campaign to tell people about the benefit of accessing real-time transit information on their iPhones.

“There is nothing like Roadify,” Goelz said. “It is the easiest way to find out when the next bus comes because we take the [information] from real New Yorker.

Goelz said he also wished to emphasize the importance of customers who give updates while on the go, to help each other.

“We take the schedule beyond the schedule by straphangers’ active participation,” he said. “It’s a give. In return, we only ask customers to give back and they do want to participate.”

“Roadify is really a revolutionary and prominent app that has won awards because of its large customer interaction,” said MTA spokesperson Aaron Donovan.

But one Astoria resident highlighted the downside to Roadify: that so far it's only available to iPhone users.

“If I could, I would definitely use Roadify,” Denise Forero,18, said.

Forero, a Blackberry user, said she leaves home two hours early every day to take the Q66 bus.

“I would love to know when the next bus comes," she said. "It would save me time.”

However, any cell phone user can text “ ROAD” to 95495 to get a bus and subway information.

Subway riders may have trouble viewing the apps if they don’t have cell phone service in underground train stations. They may have to rely on countdown clocks that are available in most subway stations to tell them when the next train is coming.

The MTA has activated 177 clocks around New York so far. By the end of this year it expects to activate another 162 clocks, Donovan said.

The MTA started another new pilot program providing bus riders with a “Tell Me Where the Bus Is” phone number they can call to receive schedules. Donovan said the number currently only works for the B63 bus in Brooklyn, but is expected to expand soon.

The MTA has more than 45 transportation-related apps, including NextBus, NYCBusMap, MyBusNYC, and BusNYC. Find them all at Mta.info.

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