New: the best accessible trip plans ♿️

Email sent: Nov 11, 2019 3:37pm

Congrats to the former Montréal Expos Washington Nationals on their first World Series win! Looks like real-time bus info isn’t our city’s only reliable export to the United States of America...

Besides licking our wounds (and spitballs) we’ve been busy at Transit working on our new accessible trip planner! We’ve integrated accessible stops + vehicles into our trip planner, which means if a rider has restricted mobility — e.g. they use a wheelchair, or have a child in a stroller — they can now find the fastest trips that avoid inaccessible transit stops, like a subway station with no elevator.

Of course, this functionality only works when transit agencies provide accessibility information in their GTFS. If you need help setting that up, here’s how you can do it 👊

Accessible trip planning is one of the many wonderful features that GTFS makes possible (whether it’s stop-based transit alerts, multimodal trip planning, real-time vehicle tracking, other accessibility features, etc.). But you have to have that underlying data layer, and it has to be open.

More openness in mobility, whether it’s GTFS 🚍🚊 or GBFS 🚲🛴 means more compelling features 🏋️‍♀️ — and, ultimately — more car-free trips. 🏆

Team Open just put one on the board in the Bay Area, where scooter companies have been required to provide public GBFS to show available vehicles. SF and Oakland are now among a growing list of cities (LA, DC, Baltimore, Portland...) with open data for scooters. An immediate benefit? Bay Area riders can now use Transit to find the closest scoot or bike across *all* operators, then combine them with public transit for the fastest possible trip.

Look at all the mobility! Hats off to the policymakers who made it happen. 💪

Next up after open vehicle locations? Open payments. While there isn’t a standard mobility payment API (yet!), more and more agencies are warming to the idea of third-party payments.

We’re thrilled to be helping lead the charge, alongside our partners at Masabi: say hello to Cincinnati, Transit’s newest ticketing city (with Metro, TANK, BCRTA, and Cincinnati Bell Connector aka Da Streetcar™ all available for purchase in Transit 🚋👌.) The concerted effort between agencies in Cincinnati is especially awesome: by working together through EZfare, all those Cincinnati agencies give riders a single, simple, seamless way to pay for all their transit. No juggling different agency apps! 🤹‍♂️

In other partnership news:

  1. We’re feeling fuzzy for all our fun new agency partners, who are promoting Transit as the best app for their riders: Green Mountain Transit (Burlington, VT); Vermont Agency of Transportation; Belleville Transit (Belleville, ON); Omnitrans (San Bernardino, CA); Roam (Banff, AB); Cornwall Transit (Cornwall, ON); WATA (Williamsburg, VA)
  2. New ridehail partners: Riide (Saskatoon) and Heetch (France)
  3. Swiftly!!! 👇😍👇

In our undying quest to give riders perfect real-time data (whether by developing our own machine learning algorithm, or improving real-time accuracy with GO crowdsourcing) we're constantly building tools to clean up patchy/inaccurate predictions.

But what if those underlying real-time feeds were already basically perfect?

You may or may not be familiar with Swiftly, a company that helps transit agencies improve their real-time accuracy by up to 30%. (Where other agency feeds update might only every ~60 seconds, Swiftly feeds are updated every few seconds.) We use Swiftly-powered ETA predictions in a few cities like Boston, San Jose, and Baltimore — we can vouch that these guys are the real deal. Users trust the real-time significantly more in those cities, there are fewer real-time complaints, and their technical support is top-notch too.

It’s effusive praise, yes… but we’re feeling particularly effusive, because Transit n’ Swiftly are joining forces! We just launched an official partnership aimed at bringing Swiftly's perfect predictions and Transit's perfect app to more cities. Message us for intel.

Oh and one last thing! If you’re at the CUTA conference in Calgary, we’ll be hosting a whiskey tasting on November 12th with Swiftly and Masabi! 🥃

Come quaff & talk transit! Click this link 👉password: TRANSIT 👈 to reserve your menu.

See you next newsletter! 📬🏃💨

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