Google has expanded the reach of its experimental public transport app, which relies on crowdsourced data to alert users to delays to their train or bus.
The Pigeon Transit app, which has been dubbed ‘Waze for public transport’ after the popular Google-owned driving app, is now available in five more U.S. cities following an initial test run in New York City.
Commuters in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. can now download the Piegon app for iOS, while Google is also opening up a wait list for Android users. The idea is to give users in each city access to data that might not be accessible via their standard transit app.
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So, while you might know of delays, Pigeon will supplement that information with reports on real-time crowds, unexpected incidents and more general context about why your mode of transport might be running behind schedule.
In a blog post, Google says: “Pigeon sends alerts whenever there is important information that riders care about, like power outages and major service changes. Pigeon also sends customized notifications to commuters before they leave their home or office, so that they can plan around delays, reroutes and even the weather.”
The updates from users appear on a map as they do in Waze, but tapping the individual posts can even show images that show the crowdedness of trains, escalator outages, weather conditions and much more.
Google is probably quite a while away from launching the Pigeon app across the US and internationally, but those Waze-aided drivers, who’ve come to appreciate the updates about accidents, speed traps, gas prices and lurking police cops are sure to appreciate this launch too.
“Pigeon also makes commuting more fun,” Google adds. “Our users commiserate over shared experiences like being packed in a crowded subway, finding surprising joy from dogs tucked in bags and celebrating local entertainers.”
The sooner this arrives in London, the better.