Building an App to Help Neighbors Ride Together

Of all the ways to improve your bike commute, riding with a friend might be the simplest. Not only do you have someone to talk to at red lights, you also become more visible and therefore more safe. With that in mind, Transportation Alternatives is working on a new tech solution called Bike Buddy to help New Yorkers find someone to ride with.

The idea is to combine online mapping software with social networking — Ride the City meets Facebook. You’d plug in your starting point and destination, and the software would show you the best route to take and recommend a partner to ride with. "Ride the City gives routes to cyclists and lets them choose a safer or a more direct route," said Caroline Samponaro, TA’s bike director, but she wants to "beef it up and make it more exciting for people." Helping neighbors bike together could be that killer app. 

New York State currently runs a carpooling website, CommuterLink, that offers some bike-pooling assistance, said Samponaro. Bike Buddy would draw on TA and Ride the City’s better understanding of bike culture. "Biking is so inherently social," said Samponaro, and Bike Buddy would build off that.

TA is still in the early stages of developing Bike Buddy. If the app goes live, Samponaro expects it to spread across the country. Cycling activists in cities across America have already expressed their interest, and TA says Bike Buddy can succeed as a national website.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Tonight: Tell Mayor de Blasio to Step Up for Vision Zero

|
Mass Bike Ride #Sept15 to Protest Spike in Cyclist Deaths, Hit-and-Runs https://t.co/pko3VNXQic #RideTogether pic.twitter.com/xErXNBSnP7 — TransAlt (@transalt) September 14, 2016 With New York City losing ground in the effort to eliminate traffic deaths, officials will join street safety advocates and victims of traffic violence tonight for Transportation Alternatives’ mass bike ride on Fifth Avenue. The event is […]

Ride Citi Bike? TA Wants to Know What You Think

|
Transportation Alternatives has launched a series of surveys asking Citi Bike riders what they think of the bike-share program. The aim is to better inform TA’s activism and introduce the advocacy group to bike-share users who may not already be familiar with ways they can help improve cycling in New York. “We don’t want this to […]

City Council Members Ride to City Hall to Celebrate Bike Month

|
Seven City Council members rode their bikes to work yesterday in observance of Bike Month — up from five last year. They came in two groups, one starting from Union Square and the other from Brooklyn Borough Hall, before gathering on the steps of City Hall. Clarence Eckerson Jr. of Streetfilms was there to capture it. Council members on bikes […]

Tomorrow: Celebrate a Safer East Side With TA and Melissa Mark-Viverito

|
Tomorrow, Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and Transportation Alternatives will take a well-deserved victory lap on the First and Second Avenue protected bike lanes. Streetsblog readers know how difficult it was to overcome the misinformation campaign waged by a small number of business owners who didn’t want to see street improvements come to East Harlem. But […]

This Week: 14th Street PeopleWay, Remembering Asif Rahman

|
A very busy week on the Streetsblog calendar starts off with a memorial ride later today for Asif Rahman, who was killed by a truck driver while biking on Queens Boulevard eight years ago and would have turned 31 today. Queens Boulevard is getting safer thanks in large part to the advocacy of Asif’s mother […]

This Week: Speak Up for Queens Blvd, Chrystie St Bike Lanes

|
Tomorrow, community boards will weigh in on on major DOT street safety projects planned for Manhattan and Queens. The Manhattan CB 3 transportation committee is expected to vote on plans for a two-way protected bike lane on Chrystie Street, and the full board of Queens CB 4 is scheduled to vote on a bikeway and other upgrades […]