CITY PLAN­NING IN THE FAST LANE

A startup called Remix is us­ing data to make your com­mute more ef­fi­cient.

Fast Company - - Next How I Get It Done - By Diana Budds

The Prob­lem

Pub­lic tran­sit is the lifeblood of cities, but ef­forts to es­tab­lish new routes of­ten suc­cumb to the com­plex­i­ties of mu­nic­i­pal poli­cies.

The Epiphany

In 2014, Code for Amer­ica fel­lows Tif­fany Chu, Dan Getel­man, Sam Hashemi, and Danny Whalen learned about the oner­ous process of green-light­ing new trans­porta­tion so­lu­tions. They thought that if of­fi­cials could vi­su­al­ize the im­pacts new sys­tems would have on com­mu­ni­ties, rather than hav­ing to read about them in 100-page doc­u­ments, plan­ners could spend less time con­vinc­ing and more time build­ing.

The Ex­e­cu­tion

The group launched Remix, a plat­form that turns tran­sit plan­ning into an in­ter­ac­tive game based on real-world data. As users add a bus stop or ad­just a sub­way route, Remix re­veals in real time how the change would im­pact travel times, mo­bil­ity, and cost.

The Re­sult

The startup has worked with more than 200 U.S. trans­porta­tion au­thor­i­ties and is field­ing re­quests from of­fi­cials over­seas. Las Ve­gas and San An­to­nio have en­listed Remix to help reroute tran­sit ser­vices around street fes­ti­vals and pa­rades, and Seat­tle is us­ing it to plan for its ex­pected pop­u­la­tion growth. Remix also helps city of­fi­cials learn from their coun­ter­parts else­where. “It starts to be­come this con­nec­tive tis­sue be­tween agen­cies that nor­mally don’t talk to each other be­cause they’re scat­tered across the na­tion,” says Chu.

Learn­ing curve

Remix grew out of Tif­fany Chu and her co­founders’ ear­lier project, a gam­i­fied bus-map­ping sys­tem.

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