OpenPlans, the nonprofit technology organization that launched OpenTripPlanner, wants to put transit back on the iPhone. Apple’s decision to drop Google Maps from its next mobile operating system meant that built-in access to transit, walking, and bicycle directions would be lost as well. While many members of the transit community saw that decision as a setback, OpenPlans saw an opportunity for innovation.
Now OpenPlans has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to develop a mobile version of its trip planner. The organization hopes to raise $25,000 to build an open source mobile trip planner that integrates transit, walking, bicycle, and bikeshare directions so that users can find the best trip regardless of mode. The app would start with systems in the U.S. and Canada that provide transit data in the General Transit Feed Specification format. Long-term goals for the project include developing an Android version and expanding coverage outside North America.
In a related story, SmartPlanet talks with Kevin Webb, principal of transportation at OpenPlans, about the benefits of incorporating multimodal directions into OpenTripPlanner and related platforms like BikePlanner. “The way we get around in cities is changing,” he said, referring to bicycle- and car-sharing programs. “These new modes are actually part of the transit infrastructure and we need good information tools to help users incorporate them into our daily lives.”
Update: OpenPlans achieved its funding goal on Kickstarter.
Image source: OpenPlans