Skip to content
CityLab
Transportation

Google Will Roll Out New Real-Time Transit Tech in an Underserved Neighborhood

Flow’s robust data infrastructure and sidewalk kiosks will also help put autonomous cars on the road.  
relates to Google Will Roll Out New Real-Time Transit Tech in an Underserved Neighborhood
Flickr/Joiseyshowaa

Real-time transit information is among the most valuable assets commuters have. But as anyone with a transit app on their smartphone knows, it’s also incredibly elusive. The availability and reliability of trains, buses, bikes, and Ubers depends on a thousand grief-giving gears. For residents of neighborhoods that are already underserved by transit, and who might not have a smartphone at all, figuring out the best route from A to B is all the more challenging.

Sidewalk Labs, the Google arm developing technological solutions to urban problems, announced with the U.S. Department of Transportation Thursday that it is building “Flow,” a digital platform that seeks to address the real-time transit problem and more. Flow will aggregate and analyze mobility data from a great number of sources—including Google Maps, Waze, municipal data, and eventually, remote traffic sensors—to identify what’s causing congestion and which areas need what kind of service.