Commuters in 20 cities across the US are now able to make more informed and sustainable decisions about getting from one place to the next, thanks to a digital software start-up that pairs transportation options with real-time data on traffic, congestion and other travel conditions. Transportation is one of the dirtiest, carbon-emitting facets of modern life, and some estimates peg transportation alone accounting for about 15% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“There’s a convergence happening between transportation and all this new digital technology, that’s really enabled people to look at the impact of transportation in a much deeper way,” said Matt Caywood, CEO of TransitScreen. Caywood sat on a sustainability panel at CES earlier this year. “It’s also created all these new mobility options, and in many cases more efficient than the old option of driving your own car everywhere.”
TransitScreen is a transportation demand tool available to builders, real estate developers, multi-dwelling unit building owners and hotels to help residents and guests make informed decisions about getting from one place to the next.
The screens are placed in centrally-located areas and convey real time information about current traffic conditions, estimated arrivals across destinations around town, total available transit options, and current weather conditions.
“Your metro, bus, bike share, car share, Uber, whether it’s surging or not and traffic — all of that transportation-relevant information at a glance, so that you can make a more sustainable choice,” Caywood said. “It’s really important to change people’s behavior to have that tool, essentially a marketing tool, right there in the public realm.”
The company works with both the public sector and the private sector. Caywood said he’s seeing a lot of interest in transportation coming from companies. “A lot of companies are now looking at commuter behavior and trying to incentivize people to make more sustainable choices,” he said. “Companies increasingly have a role to play in their employees transportation. Apple spends over $20,000 on transportation per employee, just shuttling people around in buses.”
TransitScreen offers two products that address traffic: physical displays that can be placed in all types of buildings, lobbies or stations that list available transit options; and a new screen-less display that projects transit information onto sidewalks at locations such as bus stops.
TransitScreen, which first launched in Washington DC back in 2012, now operates in 20 large metropolitan areas in the US. “There’s a really strong alignment particularly with the cities we work with; they have a lot of interest in solving the transportation issues,” Caywood said. “They’re helping us push into the real estate owners and companies that are in the cities.”
Feature image courtesy TransitScreen.