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If you haven’t noticed, traffic and congestion are common side effects of the growing popularity of the Mile High City, and it extends across the Front Range. To help alleviate the stress of residents’ commute, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Crissy Fanganello, the city’s director of transportation, unveiled a new transit app, Go Denver, at Union Station on Tuesday. The app, which was created in partnership with Xerox, is designed to streamline our transit system and showcase the many ways for commuters to get around town. Type in your starting and final destinations, and it will offer (practically) all the routes available—including bike shares, public transit, Lyft, and Car2Go.
It’s catered specifically to Denver, and should—once people start using it—give the city officials information on residents’ and tourists’ habits to help the transportation department react to our growing population and transit needs. “This helps us stay on top of changing commuter trends so we can provide even safer, sustainable transportation choices in the future,” Mayor Hancock said during the event.
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So, why did Xerox, a worldwide tech company, get involved? Denver is getting some national attention right now because more than half of our urban workforce is between the ages of 20 and 35. This generation is thinking differently about transportation. The options are no longer limited to taking the Light Rail or driving. Now, there are ride shares, Zipcars, and B-Cycles, to name a few.
“Denver’s track record for innovation, combined with its region-wide transit system, large number of mobility providers, and bike-share program makes it an optimal city to roll out a mobility platform of this kind,” said David Cummins, senior vice president of mobility solutions at Xerox. This is Xerox’s second partnership, as they launched a similar app in Los Angeles in January.
The Denver app categorizes your travel options between “sooner,” meaning you want to get there ASAP, “cheaper,” meaning you might have a few extra minutes to save some cash, and “greener,” if you want to minimize your gas emissions. It will also allow you to book parking in advance when traveling by car (in some areas), and you could snag discounts at more than 100 garages by utilizing the service. Future versions of the app are slated to include “scorecards” where you can track your transit costs, carbon footprint, and calories burned through cycling or walking. You will also eventually be able to pay for your elected transportation directly through the app.
By using Go Denver and letting the city know how you are moving around town, they can prioritize improvements based on what transit is most utilized. In its first days of use, this hyper-local form of mapping your commute could be the reason more bikes are added to popular bike-share locations or highways are expanded to alleviate traffic congestion in the future—hopefully.