Moovit provides crowdsourced transit information in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Daniel Bader

December 31, 2012 11:39am

With New Years Eve finally here, many Canadians will be taking public transit to get where they need to be, and the major routes will likely be jammed with inebriated revelers.

One piece of software to recently hit the Apple and Google app stores is Moovit, a crowd-sourced app for public transit much like Waze is for driving. At its core, Moovit is a basic route planner: enter a source and destination and it will intelligently plan the most efficient route. The benefit, however, is that users can submit reports of delays, driver misconduct, bus or streetcar cleanliness and more.

The company is based in Israel and has been slowly expanding the number of cities in which Moovit operates. In Canada, supported cities are Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver; in the U.S, Moovit works in NYC, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, Portland, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

While the app relies largely on open API data provided by Nextbus, the added user-submitted notes are helpful in figuring out if, for example, a streetcar has been involved in an accident and service isn’t moving on a particular line. While there are independent sources to provide such data, crowdsourced information is usually more accurate and generally arrives faster.

Moovit is smart enough to dynamically adjust your ETA time based on changing transit conditions and will suggest alternate routes if one is particularly backed up.

You don’t have to actively submit anything for Moovit to work, either. On Android and iOS, the app runs in the background (with minimal impact on battery, the company promises) to provide data to the servers; the more people using Moovit, the more accurate the service becomes.

Another benefit to Moovit is the ability to coordinate meetup locations and times with friends or family. You can submit where you’re going and your friends can see how far away you are. If you’re running late, Moovit can automatically ping them.

The app is in beta, and some of the UI is still a bit janky, especially on Android. Nevertheless, Moovit has a lot of potential to be a real game changer in the public transit app game, and the more Canadians who use it the better it will become.

Download Moovit for Android and iOS.

Via: GigaOM

  • 2c

    RIP RIM!!!!! :D :D

    • 2c.

      I hid in my sisters closet and watched her undress, while I touched myself.

  • Wilbour

    Should I hold my breath for Ottawa? Didn’t think so….

  • JUST SAYING

    HAPPY NEW YEAR

  • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

    @2c

    Way to troll this year. Amazing work in that last RIM article. Comments just blew up!!

    • JUST SAYING

      RELEASING A 4.2″ IN 2013!!!

      JUST WATCH AND SEE WHAT SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 WILL HAVE

      I AM NOT AGAINST RIM BUT ITS TOO OLD

  • legend618

    Transit NOW Toronto… is the best transit app for toronto

  • nely

    2c is getting pretty annoying…

  • Dan Brook

    Curious how Mr. Bader is supporting this particular app. ‘The more users, the better the app will be’. Surely there are a plethora of location-based apps that are looking for that kind of support. A trivial notion. So why Moovit, Mr. Bader? why not support others as well? Curious

  • mlander

    Israel has a certain notoriety in the military tech/surveillance fields. /tinfoilhat

  • Ben S

    tried it. does not offer one route that includes the closest, and fastest bus route from my house. google maps on iOS does a great job.