Have you ever used New York City’s decrepit subway system and marveled that its speeds that are slower now than they were in the 1950s? Or how a commute of a few miles can easily stretch into hours, making a trip between Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan turn into a nightmare? It’s gotten so bad and outdated compared to other modern cities that Google’s in-house startup incubator Area 120 is proposing to intervene with a new app.

The app, called Pigeon, is live on Apple’s App Store, but access is still limited to those with an invitation code. Its developers say the app can help commuters choose routes that avoid delays and crowds other users report. Google Maps and the MTA’s own website already provide information on what trains aren’t working. But Pigeon will also allow users to post specific comments and note annoying incidents, such as loud street performers. It sounds more like a social media app for New Yorkers to commiserate on their miserable commutes.

Image: Pigeon

After you download Pigeon, it’ll prompt you to allow location services multiple times. Once inside the app, there are cute pigeons all over the subway map, but tapping on them right away doesn’t seem to do anything. The app’s functionality is extremely reliant on what people report (hence the large purple Report button at the bottom of the screen).

Pigeon’s traffic reports sound just like Google’s Waze app but exclusively for the New York subway system. If you’ve ever used Waze during city rush hours, you’ll know that the app can only do so much to help you avoid traffic when the entire map is congested. Knowing the New York subway system and the possibility of multiple lines breaking down at once, I can see the Pigeon app having the same shortcomings. After all, you can only do so much to add convenience to an already broken system.

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Source: The Verge


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