Fast Company

There are two competing approaches—both very expensive—to solving traffic problems: Build more roads, or build more public transit. Yi-Chang Chiu, a professor of transportation engineering at the University of Arizona, has another idea: Hand out gift cards.

It is possible to reduce vehicle congestion, Chiu's research shows, if drivers take different routes and drive at slightly different times—from about 15 to 45 minutes earlier or later. "[Currently] we turn on our navigation systems when we get in the car," says Chiu. "By that time it is already too late." Getting as little as 10% of people to change their schedules would lead to a "measurable improvement," he says.

Chiu's startup, Metropia, uses a location-tracking smartphone app (tied to traffic data and a routing algorithm) that encourages people to take the small steps of changing routes or leaving at...

Tucson News Now

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -A drive through Tucson could land motorists a gift card or help to plant a tree thanks to a new app in the Old Pueblo.
 
Metropia, which is free to download, offers incentives to drivers for planning their trips instead of simply rushing out the door and adding to traffic. Yi-Chang Chiu, the apps founder and a professor at the University of Arizona, said Tucson is a great place for Metropia to make a difference.
 
“This community is open to new ideas,” he said.
 
The idea behind Metropia is to collect the data from drivers in Tucson in order to improve traffic flow and street design. Users input their destination and the app maps out the best route, like a GPS navigation tool, but there's more to it.
 
Metropia also offers the time you'll spend in your car depending on the time...

Trail of Lights 2015 with Metropia

More than two million lights will illuminate the crisp Austin night sky this holiday season as part of the beloved holiday tradition, the 2015 Trail of Lights festival.

And we are excited to announce that Metropia and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority are teaming up with the Trail of Lights Foundation to help visitors easily and effectively plan their trip to the highly anticipated event.

With more than 400,000 visiting the Trail in 2014 and a big turnout expected this year as well, the Trail of Lights is one of largest events in the Texas capital. Because Metropia is focused on improving the driving experiences of our community, we are delighted to be a part of the Trail of Lights festival this year and offer Central Texans an additional option for traveling to and from the Trail with...

We at Metropia Inc. often encourage the use of alternative modes of transportation when your schedule and location allow it, however we recognize that a whopping 86% of commuters here in the US are still driving (whether alone or in a carpool).

With this seemingly unshakable statistic in mind, we’ve decided to dig up some handy tips on how to improve the fuel efficiency in your car while you’re out there driving in your city. Better fuel economy means saving money, reducing oil dependence costs, reducing climate change, and increasing energy sustainability - sounds worthwhile to us!

Without further ado, here are some smart ways to keep your money and your fuel going further:

1. Set your tires to the right...

5 Apps to Simplify Your Day-to-Day Life

We here at Metropia are all about mobile apps that ease those daily unnecessary stresses. Whether it’s your poor sleep cycle, troublesome eating habits, torturous commute, or busy-mindedness in general - there does actually appear to be an app for that.

We’ve collected our top 5 favorite mobile apps for getting de-cluttered and de-stressed, and here they are in no particular order of favoritism:

1. Sleep Cycle (iPhone & Android)
Sleep Cycle allows for some excellent detective work when you’re trying to find the culprit for that ongoing sluggish feeling you can’t seem to shake. When you’re sure you slept a decent amount of hours but can’t seem to feel recharged.

Sleep Cycle is an alarm clock app, but instead of following old routines it aims to create great new habits to leave you waking up refreshed. The app tracks your sleep patterns by...

Win exclusive upgraded passes to Blues on the Green! (Austin)

Metropia is excited to be an official sponsor of the KGSR Blues on the Green concert series! They hooked us up with some exclusive upgrades to the full Hospitality Experience—including free food & drinks!!!—and since we never ride alone we want to bring you along.

Registering to win couldn’t be easier: just keep doing what you’re doing! Check Twitter and Facebook for additional chances to win. And be sure to swing by our booth while you’re there! We’ll be handing out some great Metropia freebees all day.

Congratulations! Austin & Tucson plant 200 trees for #EarthWeek

 

Last week we sent out the #EarthWeek Challenge and the cities of Austin and Tucson responded! By using the Metropia app to save time on five or more commutes last week, our users helped us reach our goals of planting 100 additional trees per city through our partnership with American Forests.

To date, Austin’s Metropia users have offset 9,335 pounds of CO2, saved 307 hours (18,419 minutes) on their commute, and redeemed 230 rewards. Austinites also helped us exceed our 100 tree goal for a total of over 175 trees and counting.

Cutting drive times and CO2 with Metropia has also been a great success in Tucson, where users have offset 6,440 pounds of CO2, cut 241 hours (14,454 minutes) of drive time, and redeemed 67 rewards. Though Metropia’s Tucson launch is still underway, our message and goals have clearly resonated with Tucsonans, who have helped us plant 123...

 

Since the release of our v1.0 Metropia app to Google Play in early January and the App Store in early February we’ve already made great progress in terms of incorporating feedback from our active users. With this knowledge under our belts, we’re heading into v.1.2.0 with excellent updates for Metropians old and new.

Without the excellent input of our many users and their honest survey answers, we wouldn’t be able to consistently improve the Metropia app as we have! Our users play a massive role in creating a better drive with Metropia. Take a glance at the many strong features we’ve added with each new version.Metropia App Version 1.1.0 boasted...

Cyclovia Tucson: Spend less time in the car, more outside with Metropia!

 

Sunday, Apr. 19th, 2015 | 10am - 3pm | Downtown to South Tucson

Join Metropia at Cyclovia Tucson to assist in their week-long Earth Day effort to plant 100 trees! Metropia app users here in Tucson have been improving their commutes and helping the environment by reducing CO2, so Metropia has decided to contribute even more to reforestation efforts. Metropia will be planting up to 100 trees with the help of the Tucson community and American Forests. Efforts will begin at Tucson’s Earth Day Festival and continue for the following week.

Wondering how you can help?

• Shorten 5 of your weekly commutes with the app and Metropia will plant a tree for you!

• Use the Metropia app to...

Earth Day Festivals and Earth Week: Help Metropia plant 100 trees for Tucson & Austin

 

Saturday, Apr. 18th, 2015 | 12pm-6pm | Historic Brown Hangar | Austin, TX
Saturday, Apr. 18th, 2015 | 9am-2pm | Reid Park | S. Country Club Road | Tucson AZ

Metropia is excited to be a part of the annual Earth Day Festivals in Austin and Tucson, and to celebrate they're planting up to 100 trees for Tucson and Austin.

While the Metropia app offers a myriad of eco-smart features, one of the most insightful is their “CO2 Saved” tree-odometer, which allows users to keep track of the pounds of CO2 they’ve saved using Metropia’s routes. Metropia then plants a tree with American Forests for the user once they’ve reached 100 lbs of CO2 saved. Users have already started making excellent progress towards planting new trees since the Metropia app launch in March.

Considering...

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