Roadify Clears Up Confusion on the Streets and Rails

8/22/11Follow @jpruth

Every commuter wants to find better ways to traverse busy cities. Subway delays and bus route changes may throw carefully timed travel plans into disarray. To ease such headaches, New York startup Roadify has developed a mobile app that delivers updates from transit agencies and input from users on the street.

The app has already won accolades for the one-year-old company. In March, Roadify beat more than fifty other developers to win the grand prize—which included $10,000 cash—at the NYC BigApps 2011 competition. The program, sponsored by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, invites software developers to create technology that improves life in the city. Judges of this year’s competition included Dawn Barber, co-founder of NY Tech Meetup; Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter; and Fred Wilson, managing partner of Union Square Ventures.

Roadify currently provides real-time information on commuting routes just in the New York area, though the company plans to expand its services to other locations. Scott Kolber, chief operating officer with Roadify, says while transit information is typically available to the public, it is often scattered across multiple sources. Roadify collects data from entities such as Google Transit, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the New York Department of Transportation into one platform that can be customized for each user. For example, Roadify can post alerts if there is a service change on a specific subway line. “People want to know what’s going on,” Kolber says. “When is the bus coming? Why is there a train delay? Which bridge or tunnel should I take?”

Kolber says readily available data on traffic from city agencies is vital to the app, but Roadify also crowdsources information from users on the street. When users post the actual arrival times … Next Page »

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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