In Boston, a private shuttle service is revolutionalizing urban trips. Bridj moves passengers between Kendall Square, Brookline, Allston, Back Bay, Downtown, South Boston, and the Innovation District for a flat fare of $3. The company has been in operation for less than a year: founder Matthew George, age 23, launched in June 2014. Bridj aims to fill the gap between existing public transit routes and demand-driven services like taxi upstart Uber. And like Toronto crowdsourced Line Six, Bridj aims to alleviate the alienating, often uncomfortable service characteristic of many mass transit service operators. Bridj vans have wi-fi, comfortable seating, and as of today introduced a new app to allow users to book trips in advance and track the shuttle in real time. The company promises that users’ walk to a shuttle will always be less than 12 minutes.

Will demand-based services, driven by users’ data, revolutionize transit? Can they fill the gaps left by transit underfunding? And can they offer what traditional transit has not–a more pleasant experience?

 

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