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Transportation

'Pop-Up' Bus Service Learns Boston Riders' Rhythms, Creates Routes Accordingly 51

Posted by timothy
from the it's-like-some-sort-of-hand-you-can't-see dept.
moglito (1355533) writes with this story about a new take on bus service in Boston, as reported by the New York Times: 'This new-old method of transport has comfortable seats and Wi-Fi. But its real innovation is in its routing. It is a "pop up" bus service, with routes dictated by millions of bits of data that show where people are and where they need to go. The private service uses chartered buses and is run by a start-up technology company called Bridj.' 'Bridj collects millions of bits of data about people's commutes from Google Earth, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, the census, municipal records and other sources. "We crunch these millions and millions of data points through a number of algorithms that are existing, or that we're refining, to tell us where people are living and working," Mr. George said. "And through our special sauce, we're able to determine how a city moves."'
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'Pop-Up' Bus Service Learns Boston Riders' Rhythms, Creates Routes Accordingly

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  • by rsborg (111459) on Friday June 06, 2014 @08:20PM (#47184277) Homepage

    It sounds like if you don't have a smartphone--or don't use it to check into every damn silly little place you visit--then your transportation needs are going to be underrepresented.

    You jest. Smartphone penetration in the US populace is quite high. Our babies' nanny has an iPhone5S. Nearly every construction worker on every gig at my property in the past 2 years has had a smartphone, even the ones that looked like they couldn't afford one. Many folks in the doctor's office that I go to have one (older folks tend to have tablets).

    Smartphones are way too useful to be niche any longer. YOU may use them to play solitaire or listen to podcasts, but everyday folks use them to shop, text their SOs, plan their daily lives and conduct business.

    The smartphone is way more personal than a personal computer, and it's way more affordable than a PC for actually useful things where you need it.

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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