Next week a transportation start-up company called Bridj is expanding its unique approach to bus travel into the nation’s capital. Instead of having set ‘bus stops,’ Bridj uses big data to figure out the best places to pick up and drop off its customers. As an earlier piece from the WaPo explained, the company had some success it Boston, where it originally launched:
Bridj says it has cut some commute times in half by strategically offering bus service in the city. A ride from Coolidge Corner to Kendall Square, which Bridj founder Matt George says would likely 42 to 55 minutes on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, has taken 15-18 minutes on his company’s buses.
At $5 per trip, Bridj costs more than the typical DC metro ride. But Uber is also more expensive in many cases than a metro trip, and has nonetheless successfully entered the DC market. Especially considering how inefficient the DC metro system is, something like Bridj could very well be successful. It’s the sort of venture worth keeping an eye on, as a preview of how technology and big data will make daily life more convenient and efficient in the 21st century.