The trajectories of transit routes have never been intuitive. Today, buses traverse city streets on what is more or less a loose science of rider estimates. Policies, politics, zoning densities and thoroughfares, the pitch and roll of topography — they’ve all been contributing factors. To simplify the process, transit planners far and wide are waiting for a tool that can responsively adjust their bus routes to real-world data.
And such a tool is nearly here.
Tiffany Chu is the co-founder of Transitmix, a startup that’s reworking typical route planning with a map and data tool that lets citizens and planners draw routes on the fly. New lines can be dragged and dropped. Costs and demographic information adjusts on demand. There are even plans in the works to construct a predictive analytics feature to forecast ridership and routing details. If successful, Chu, who previously served as a user experience researcher at ZipCar, hopes the startup can be a disruptor for better transit nationwide.
“I think it’s just a really fascinating time right now for a new generation of tools to help push forward the planning process,” Chu said. “To democratize it, to make it more accessible, and in a lot of ways, to revolutionize the archaic methodologies it’s used before.”