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No snow, no Yeti

The man behind Yeti, the app for shoveling out your car, says the operation's roll-out has been delayed.

Chris Barry, the Boston entrepreneur behind anapp for on-demand snow-shoveling, dreamed up the idea for Yeti when the city found itself pummeled by last winter's record snowfall.

Trudging through icy slushy piles and shoveling snow off cars and driveways before the morning commute was the region’s shared and repeated nightmare last winter. And Barry figured there was money to be made in taking care of the task, enabling smartphone-owners to clear their vehicles without getting off the couch, he told Metro in January.

But amid a warm and conspicuously snow-free follow-up season, Barry said this weekend he is delaying the launch of Yeti until next year.

“The weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating,” he wrote in an email. “Seems I picked a bad year for this.”

RELATED: Q+A: The Boston Yeti talks about his winter plans

A bad year for him, maybe. After last year’s winter led to delays and cancellations on the T, the service has had just a few inches of snow to clear this season. This after spending $83 million on a winter resilience plan, retrofitting tracks with updated fixtures, buying new equipment and repeatedly smack-talking mother nature in press conferences. T officials, it turns out, were preparing for a season that, at least by the start of March, never fully arrived.

Weather.com’s Monday forecast was for highs that could break into the 50s, with lows at least in the 40s for most of the week and more spring-like temps on tap for the next 10 days.

Earlier this year, Barry said he planned to launch his app in mid-February. In January, when the season was already off to a mild start he told Metro he was probably the “only person in Boston praying for snow just about every day.”
His company did clear a few his Southie neighbors’ cars for free, leaving notes on the windshields: “This one’s on us.”


But what snow did fall this year melted quickly, or amounted to little more than a dusting.

RELATED: Why the cold-battling MBTA set its rail on fire on purpose

Barry has gotten approval from Apple to make the app live in the App Store, he said, but will hold off launching it until next winter.

“On the upside that gives me another 9-10 months to prepare so I’ll be 100 percent ready for a big launch on day 1 next winter,” he wrote.

That’s not to say this winter couldn’t have surprises in store for Boston. Remember the April Fool’s Day Blizzard of 1997?

 

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