Google’s Area 120 incubator launched a Waze-like crowdsourcing app in New York City last year for public transit. Pigeon for iOS is now available in five extra U.S. cities as an Android app comes in.
Launched in September 2018, Pigeon is a “crowdsourced transit app that provides better real-time information for riders, by riders, to give people around the world access to accurate transit data.”
Information includes real-time crowds and unusual events, with the network also offering “more context about delays.” This is achieved primarily by notifying major alerts such as power outages or changes in schedules, as well as personalized alerts regarding delays, reroutes, and the weather before leaving for the day.
Reporting is at the core of Pigeon with accidents displayed along the route on a map: delays, crowded train, climbing outages, live entertainment, and dirty or unsafe conditions. Google also offers Pigeon a social aspect:
Pigeon is available from Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Starting today, Pigeon is only available on iOS, while you can join the Android waiting list and decide which cities should be crowdsourced next. Google also published a report from the aggregated data on the NYC Subway Insights.
For this Area 120 plan, Pigeon coming to more cities is a promising sign. Some day, it could be partly merged into Google Maps or, given the inherent complexity and multitude of features, it could remain a standalone app like Waze.