TAMPA, Fla. — A public transit agency here recently partnered with a startup that has created a student carpool, drop-off, and pickup management app to ease traffic around schools, Next City reports.
Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority’s (TBARTA’s) $115,000 partnership with PikMyKid is a pilot program that is intended to reduce wait times, which have become 45 minutes to an hour and a half, Michael Case, the agency’s principal planner and project manager, told the news source.
Parents download the app to their phone, drive to school, and when they enter the geofence (a GPS-defined boundary of about 300 to 500 yards around the school), they check in. In the meantime, staff members get students ready before the car pulls up to the curb to pick them up, according to Next City. Case told the news source that use of the app is expected to cut pickup and drop-off time to about “5 to 10 seconds per car.”
As part of the partnership, PikMyKid will also offer a ride-sharing feature, which would track users’ traffic patterns after they leave the school. If they opt in, it would then send them notifications of other drivers dropping off children whose routes match, to connect them for carpooling, the news source reports. TBARTA has helped facilitate student carpooling since 2004, but expects higher participation rates with PikMyKid because the app requires little work from parents and it double-verifies a parent’s identity.
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