Starting with 110 cities worldwide, users can now use the app to locate the closest bicycle station and find out if there is an available bike
Public transportation navigators Moovit announced on Monday the release of version 4.8 that will include up to the minute information on city-wide bicycle sharing programs. Starting with 110 cities worldwide, users can now use the app to locate the closest bicycle station and find out if there is an available bike.
Among the cities where the bike information service will be available are locations like NYC, San Francisco, Milwaukee, London, Paris, Lyon, Berlin, Rome, Tel Aviv, and the list goes on.
When opening the new version, the screen will include directions on how to get to the station and how many bikes are available. If you are returning a bike, it will let you know if there is an open spot to park it.
Moovit’s VP of Product Yovav Meydad tells Geektime that, “The bike program is a part of our promise to the users to be the omnisearch for any means of transit that can get them to their destination, in the quickest and most efficient way.”
Leveraging data in working with smart cities
Moovit and other apps that have partnered with cities across the globe are working to provide an additional layer of information services in ways that can significantly alter how residents interact with their surroundings.
This symbiosis is especially relevant to a transportation app like Moovit that relies on their relationship with the local government and public transport agencies to gather data on bus, train, and other modes of travel to transmit to their users.
Meydad explains that, “More and more cities are understanding the benefits of giving developers access to data about public transit, as well as bikes. This way developers can create unique and useful apps to help people navigate. The city benefits as well, making it greener and less congested.”
Conversely, Moovit and the popular driving app Waze are able to help cities better understand themselves by tracking movement patterns and learning where areas of congestion are situated. By crowdsourcing the users as they travel, these apps are able to generate reports that can alert authorities to problems with stations or other utilities, improving services and providing a feedback tool for the public.
In looking ahead, Meydad says that they expect to see the list of cities working with them on the bike programs to grow in the near future.
While there are already apps out there showing some of this information, Moovit allows the user to rely on one app for all of their travel data, essentially giving them door to bus/train to bike service.
While it is worth keeping in mind that these updates on the bicycle availability will only be as accurate as the cities where they are working. Tel Aviv’s bike sharing system is notoriously unreliable, but in other locations, users should expect a higher level of service. Who knows, maybe Tel Aviv will take this opportunity to get better?
It’s always worth a shot.