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Public Transportation Is Getting a Major Makeover

July 1, 2014
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Public Transportation Is Getting a Major Makeover
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Bridj is a new bus company that uses technology to streamline bus routes according to citizens’ patterns.

Noise, exhaustion and incredibly long wait times – all of these words are inconveniences most of us have associated with riding public buses. Seats aren’t guaranteed, and then there’s the ever present fear of the bus just not showing up. But one company is now working to make those fears a thing of the past. Say hello to Bridj, dubbed “the world’s first smart mass transportation system.”

Using the power of technology, Bridj is hoping to reinvent and rejuvenate the transportation industry. How do they plan to do this? By collecting and analyzing 14 million data points, Bridj maps out how the city moves. It finds out where most people live and work, and designs bus routes that align to create more effective and efficient travel.

While this seems a little techy for most of us, the process for users is much simpler. Patrons need only check the Bridj app to find the closest stop to their location and go there to catch the bus.

So far, Bridj has only been introduced in Boston and the Washington, D.C. metro area, but the results are positive. For one trial route in Boston, the commute is usually a 45 minutes subway ride, but, on Bridj, the commute has been cut in half and that is including traffic. The plan is to have 40 main routes in the city, with a few shorter or pop-up routes for big occasions such as concerts.

Although the cost of the ticket — $3 to $5 — is a little higher than traditional public transit, Bridj feels that the overall experience more than compensates. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, power outlets and a guaranteed seat with the purchase of a ticket.

Bridj is not taking over or disregarding the public transportation system, though. Instead it wants to work with them, setting up partnerships with public transportation authorities in cities across the country with the end-goal of decreasing the amount of cars on the road.

A little comfort and relaxation goes a long way on the morning commute, and Bridj is looking to provide that. With less traffic, less waiting and more luxury, Bridj hopes to change the image of public transportation—something that could benefit all of us and reduce a little of that commuter stress.

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