New Transportation Systems Blends Class and Convenience
Written by Christina Catucci
As a regular commuter, I know the struggles of riding the MBTA trains and buses throughout Boston. Public transportation is always a shaky subject when talking about ease, speed, and cleanliness, and the T is no exception to the rule. There are constant delays, questionable characters, and, might I mention again, that cleanliness issue. However, there is a new method of transportation taking Boston by storm, and its name is Bridj.
Bridj is a ‘smart transit system,’ and promises riders it will tailor to their ‘individual commuting needs.’ Bridj features special shuttles set up around the city at specific locations and times. For a fee (just a bit more expensive that the T), riders are given a much more relaxing and comfortable experience as they travel in the city. Bridj features shuttles that are direct—no stops waiting for other passengers to get off like you might on the T or MBTA bus. It also functions based off data, a reason Bridj is credited as ‘smart;’ as it collects information about where people need to go most in the city and tailors it’s shuttle stops based off that data.
Shuttles with Bridj include complimentary WiFi, ideal for business travelers and students. Bridj also includes guaranteed premium seating, but likes to have customers pre-register in advance to guarantee a spot either through the site or their handy app (which is, by the way, not required to ride like alternative transport apps such as Lyft or UBER). Additionally, if you commute to work using Bridj, it is possibly tax deductible, taking the sting out of the ever-so-slight increase in price compared to the MBTA. As of now, as Bridj is growing in multiple major cities, it is trying out a special beta-version for Boston. Due to the fact that Bridj is not fully established in Boston just yet, the cost to ride will be even cheaper for a short time.
Bridj’s website explains, “Our introductory beta pricing starts at $1 and goes to $3 depending on the time of departure. Ultimately, Bridj will cost slightly more than traditional public transit, but less than the cost of a taxi or driving yourself.” Bridj also explains on the site that drivers do not need to be tipped as the company compensates them, eliminating yet another commuting expense. Bridj currently has a listing of all the Boston beta stops in place now, but urges customers not to worry about if their specific location is not listed yet. Since Bridj is, after all, a ‘smart transit’ system, all you have to do is register online with Bridj and let them know you want a stop in your area. They will continue to collect data on where most people require pick-up and eventually be able to accommodate the request.
Sort of like a community taxi with style, Bridj is certainly providing a nice alternative for Boston commuters. If you check out their site now, you will see stops in popular locations like Seaport District, Southie, and Coolidge Corner, among many more. See the full schedule at http://www.bridj.com/schedule. If you are interested in Bridj and want to learn more, make sure to check out http://www.bridj.com/#new714. From there, you can register, purchase passes, and explore everything Bridj has to offer. So, will Bridj transform public transit in Boston and change commuting life in the city forever? We’ll just have to see. The more people who join, the more Bridj will provide, so it is in the hands of Bostonians now.