The Bus of the Future Will Catch You

This veteran cab driver is guided by new apps galore.

Matt George runs a new bus company that doesn't own buses. And he's making some big promises. 

He says his company Bridj is going to "rethink the way mass transportation works for the first time, really, since 1897 when the first subway tracks were laid" in Boston, where Bridj just launched its first data-driven routes. George thinks that by crunching enough mobility data he can figure out where people need to go in almost real-time, and create or alter bus routes so there's always one when you need it, and they all go pretty much express. As for the not owning buses thing. Bridj will make the schedules and routes then contract actual bus companies for the wheels, much like the way Uber and other taxi apps use private drivers but don't employ any of them directly. 

If George is right, his technology could fundamentally change the way people get around cities with something between a taxi shuttle and the subway. It could also become an elitist alternative public transit for the smartphone crowd.

To find out — and to test out a few other transpo tech promises — New Tech City producer Alex Goldmark takes a road trip from New York to Boston using every possible means of high-tech-enhanced transportation and trip planning tools he could possibly find. Listen to this episode to hear how the future of transportation rolls... and lurches, and crashes. 

Music Playlist

  1. Midnight Grind

    Artist: Cullen Fitzpatrick
    Label: BWN Music
  2. Steady

    Artist: Cullen Fitzpatrick
    Label: BWN Music
  3. Lips Alt 2

    Artist: Jack Ventimiglia
    Label: BWN Music
  4. Dust Bowl Rider

    Artist: Andrew Smith
    Label: BWN Music
  5. Open Slowly

    Artist: Justin Asher
    Label: BWN Music
  6. Rasta Duane

    Artist: Daniel Jensen
    Label: BWN Music