Raise your hand if you like driving around Austin! Anyone?
Take a gander at #ATXTraffic on Twitter, and you’ll see hundreds of locals tweeting warnings, woes, and advice about Austin’s growing traffic congestion issue. With the solution still unclear, numerous locals, organizations, committees, and city officials have banded together to address the issue head on.
Many agree that one of the crucial necessities the city needs is innovation through technology. How can we leverage technology in order to utilize our existing roads more efficiently?
That’s what Metropia is here for. After launching in Austin in May 2015, Metropia has incentivized thousands of users to make better decisions about their commutes, saving more than 10,000 minutes on the road and reducing CO2 emissions by 315,000 lbs.
How do they do it? Free tacos.
Metropia spreads local love
Each trip earns you points that can be used later in the Metropia merchant store. Localized incentives like Tacodeli gift cards and free Rocket Electric rentals motivate users to use Metropia more frequently, increasing the number of data points Metropia’s algorithm crunches.
The outcome is a crowdsourced monitoring platform that helps to spread demand across Austin’s roads. The more users Metropia acquires, the more robust the algorithm. But how do local businesses fit into the mix?
“As a small business in Austin, it is important for us to work with community advocates to better serve the customers that walk through our door,” says Fred Ramirez, director of out-of-restaurant sales at Tacodeli. “Our partnership with Metropia gives us a unique way to support Austin’s infrastructure and have a significant impact on the lives of our patrons. Who wouldn’t want a less stressful commute?”
Mia Zmud, vice president of ecosystem partnerships at Metropia Austin, spends her days bringing new partners into Metropia’s community model.
“Our merchant and ecosystem partners are the most important part of Metropia’s mission,” Zmud says. “We exist to give Austinites the most comprehensive information about their commutes with the added benefit of great rewards.
“Metropia is so much more than a navigation app; we empower our users to make the decisions that will help to alleviate congestion naturally.”
Carpooling, community, and how to drive a better Austin
With the recent launch of Metropia’s social carpooling feature, DUO (Driving Up Occupancy), the company continues to provide actionable solutions for Austin’s commuters. By encouraging drivers to carpool in addition to using Metropia’s existing algorithm to stagger traffic flow, users are happily “sharing the ride,” enjoying efficient routes and bumps in points.
Luckily for Austin, Metropia’s research shows that when even 5 percent of the city’s population uses the app, we will be able to see a noticeable difference in Austin’s traffic problem.
Smoother commutes, happier drivers, free tacos. Sounds like a recipe for success.