Traffic attack - CitiMoov app encourages carpooling
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Nearly 80% of Miami commuters drive to work alone. A tech group wants to encourage them to carpool, take ride-sharing services like Lyft or Uber or use mass transit by offering rewards through an app. Users could earn cash, free parking, toll rebates or other perks for not riding alone.
The idea came out of a 16-week Miami Mobility Challenge competition organized by the Miami-based nonprofit Fastrack Institute, which aims to mobilize fast-spreading technologies to address urban problems. The winner, CitiMoov.com, believes its app concept could take at least 40,000 cars off the road at rush hour within two years.
Ride-sharers would check into the app and earn points, then invite others in the vehicle with them to do the same, with more points accruing to each individual as the vehicle group grows. Everyone who earns points would be entered into a drawing for a cash prize, perhaps $200 per day. The winners would show up in everyone’s app, “so people hear about other people winning,” says Mike Lingle, the software developer and tech entrepreneur who presented the CitiMoov plan. Users also could earn free or preferred parking at universities, toll rebates or other perks from app partners. “You need to layer incentives on top of one another” to reinforce a change in transit behavior, Lingle says.
The app would be part of a larger tech solution for transit from CitiMoov. The team also is working with a group that can analyze data from street cameras to identify dangerous intersections. It would share findings with authorities to optimize traffic signals and roads to reduce accidents and traffic jams.
Winning the competition is only the start for CitiMoov. It must now develop the app and build out its transit partnerships. The team is currently raising funds for that next step.
Fastrack, meanwhile, is looking ahead to the next technology leap. Co-founder and CEO Rodrigo Arboleda says the long-term way to reduce traffic congestion in Miami will likely include ride-sharing in self-driving vehicles, which are forecast to use less space on roads. “This is not science fiction,” he says. “It will be here much faster than you think.”
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