Pigeon, a crowdsourced transit app developed by Google’s Area 120 lab, has been rolled out Tuesday in Washington, D.C., along with four other cities.
Rather than notifications from local transit authorities, the app relies on commuters’ own experiences that they can share with each other in relation to delays, crowd and other issues.
Pigeon was designed to offer “better real-time information for riders, by riders, to give people around the world access to accurate transit data,” according to a blog published by Google. It was first released in September 2018 in New York.
The way Pigeon works is similar to Waze, which is also owned by Google and provides turn-by-turn navigation information and user-submitted travel times and route details.
Pigeon users are promised access to information that cannot be received via other transit apps such as “real-time crowds, unexpected incidents, and more context about delays.” It sends alerts to the user to notify them whenever there is important information like power outages and major service changes.
Customized notifications about delays, reroutes and the weather are also available for commuters before they hit the road.
Pigeon’s reporting feature allows riders to share their comments and images related to delays and other transit issues (delays, train crowdedness, escalator outages, live entertainment and dirty or unsafe conditions.) All the posts by users appear on a map, along a rider’s route and in a common activity feed.
The app’s network has now expanded to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, in addition to the District. Commuters in these cities can download Pigeon on iOS if they are using an iPhone. Android users, on the other hand, have the option to sign up for a waitlist.