|Google's new app called Pigeon allow users to check train status in a specific area / Photo by Sorapong Chaipanya via 123RF|
One of the biggest problems in New York City is the issue of commuting and using the subway. Commute in the 'big apple' is quite infamous. With more than 5.58 million riders on an average weekday, this is one of the most congested areas of transportation in the country. Recently, Google tackled this issue with their own take on a solution in the form of an app called Pigeon. Pigeon functions similarly to Waze, but focuses more on subway systems instead of regular roads. The app went public after being in invitation-only mode for quite some time. The debut of this app might be the key to helping people with daily commute. Although there are a lot of apps that attempt to help people with this problem already out on the market, this is hoped to be different as the app contains functions that separate it from the rest.
The app uses a mix of MTA data as well as reports from its respective users to show a train line’s status and the number of minutes before the next one arrives. In a sense, it is quite similar to other transportation and scheduling apps that find and figure out the next bus arrival or next tram in a specific area. The difference is that pigeon uses a much cleaner version of Google Maps, and is made to look more modern and simple for ease-of-use. Similar to Waze, this app was bought by Google in 2013 for $1.15 billion, and has undergone a lot of testing and numerous upgrades to make it more accessible as well as easier to use. There’s even a function that allows the user to check the weather issues at their station, and even more options to confirm if said weather was actually true.
While this app may not be the most groundbreaking change that the people of NYC need, like Waze, it may slowly become an integral part of the average commuter's day in the city.