Planning treks across New York City can be tricky. Should you rely on the train for the entire trip, or try out a bike share so you’re not wasting time waiting on a subway platform?
Well, you don’t have to commit to just one mode of transportation, and a new tool aims to help New Yorkers figure out the best route option by combining transit methods.
Coord, a data mobility company backed by Sidewalk Labs (an urban-innovation effort of Alphabet, the parent company of Google), recently released a mapping tool that brings together public transportation and bike share data into a single map.
This is the first mixed-mode transit tool for New Yorkers, according to Coord, and aims to be a solution to the “first/last mile” problem.
While the bus or subway may be fine for most of your trip, covering that final distance between public transit and your doorstep can be difficult, but that’s where bike shares can come in handy.
You don’t have to replace your entire commute with a bicycle ride, but you can hop on a Citi Bike to get to your train station quicker. In fact, that’s how most New Yorkers use the service anyway.
The Coord tool would tell you exactly how to do that by answering questions like, “Should you stay on the bike the whole way or switch to transit?” and “Which subway station or bus stop should you ride the bike to?”
If you’re heading from Greenpoint to the Lower East Side, for example, just taking the J would take you about 38 minutes. But If you hop on a Citi Bike, rather than walking 21 minutes to the subway station, your trip will only take 26 minutes, according to Coord, reducing your travel time by one-third.
But even though this is a common practice, it’s still difficult to plan out these kinds of trips, Coord noted.
“For instance, none of the major navigation apps currently has bike-share as a travel option, let alone showing the available bikes near you,” the company wrote in a blog post.
With the mapping tool from Coord, you can see if a bike is available near you — whether a dockless bike or one at a docking station — and if you can drop it off at the end of your trip, like if there’s an empty slot at a dock near your train.
Coord also incorporates real-time data on New York City bus and subway service, so you can see the best combination of bike-riding and public transit for the fastest trip.