Smartphone Apps: The Future of the Transportation Sector
National

Reducing the output of CO2, saving drivers’ time, and mitigating traffic are just a few of the benefits that smartphone applications like Metropia can lend to the transportation sector. Federal agencies are starting to recognize the trend in smartphone apps that attempt to tackle some of the biggest problems and annoyances that drivers are facing on the roads today.

Some more conservative cities like Phoenix MPO are very hesitant to adopt the use of a traffic application, but a new report out by the Federal Highway Administration is likely to sway their opinion.

It’s time to catch up. The future of the country’s transportation sector lies in smartphone applications.

The FWHA report “Smartphone Applications to Influence Travel Choices: Practices and Policies,” is a ninety-page primer on the practices and policies currently happening in the world of transportation smartphone apps. The report is thorough and available for public knowledge/distribution. It “discusses the background, evolution, and development of smartphone apps; reviews the types of smartphone applications promoting transportation efficiency and congestion reduction; discusses transportation apps and their impacts on traveler behavior; examines current challenges; and concludes with guiding principles for public agencies.” (Shaheen, Cohen, Zohdy, and Kock, i)

Metropia’s founder and CEO was consulted as a specialist in the research process of the report.  The incentive-based, active-demand strategies that Metropia is striving for were also recognized by FWHA in their report.

Our reward system was cited as one way of encouraging multi-modality in travelers by offering users of the app points that they can redeem for gift cards and donations to both local and national retailers and charities. To encourage users to drive a better city,  “[Metropia’s] points are awarded... in-app and redeemable within the app ecosystem. They have also been deployed... to reward both transportation alternatives to driving alone and congestion avoidance when driving.” (Shaheen, Cohen, Zohdy, and Kock, 49)

We’re excited to be a part of the conversation concerning the future of the transportation sector, and can’t wait to see what this report inspires.

The current report can be found here ​http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop16023/fhwahop16023.pdf​ .