Moovit, a crowd-sourced public transit app is launching in the UK and comes with a new way for commuters in the country to plan their journeys.
While majority of transit and satellite navigation apps usually combine public transport routes, best routes on the basis of time or distance and information provided by transport operators, Moovit adds real-time data collected from its community of users. Moovit CEO, Nir Erez, said that public transport is currently ignorant of the public which is the best source of data available. He added that Moovit is changing the way public transport information is created and obtained by giving back the power to the public.
Apart from trip planning, navigation and schedules, Moovit measures individual users' speed and location on individual routes, and gathers and shares crowd-sourced data like Wi-Fi access, overcrowding and cleanliness thus providing its community of users with a complete picture of the entire transport network .
Nir Erez said that there's no other app in the UK that has the ability to offer real-time transport data for all regions and transport modes. He added that for the first time ever, this new app provides users with a single app experience on all buses, rail, trains, trams and tube in the whole of UK.
Moovit's launch in the UK for both Android and iOS devices comes after similar launches in the US and other parts of Europe. The app is already being used in 30 locations including Amsterdam, New York, Chicago, Los Angles, Madrid and New York.
Studies carried out in recent times indicate that both crowd-sourced information and social media could play key roles in the improvement of the efficiency of transit routes and in reducing levels of stress among commuters.
The results of the Connected Commuting Task Force study which was conducted by the New Cities Foundation show that the use of social media for connecting commuters tends to improve the commute by allowing sharing or receiving of real-time traffic information by users from an extended community of commuters. In addition, it enables commuters to have more control over their commute and gives them an opportunity to offer others a valuable service.
The study found out on the roads that drivers who used the app were more relaxed and happier since constant updates from others using the same route enabled them to make real-time adjustments to their journeys as well as avoid traffic jams and holdups. All these reduced the levels of stress.
Published in December last year, the survey was carried out in San Jose, California in collaboration with the University of California Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), the City of San Jose's Department of Transportation, Ericsson and two applications, Roadify and Waze. More than 15,000 user commentaries were analyzed as well as feedback from focus group interviews. It made a comparison of the results obtained with the experiences of commuters who didn't have access to the apps i.e. those unconnected over the same period so as to come to its conclusions.