Using RideScout fairy dust (also known as our developers’ serious skills) we’ve updated the app this week, making RideScout more robust in cities nationwide.
Now you can use RideScout to explore the following cities:
In New York City, you can navigate the Big Apple by public transit (MTA NYC).
In Houston, you can use MTA of Harris County options.
In Dallas, you can find DART.
In Washington, DC, you’ll see the Fairfax Connector, Virginia Railway Express, Frederick County Transit, University of Maryland Shuttle, Ride On, MTA Maryland, MARC as well as WMATA transit, DASH, ART, DC Circulator, car2go, Hailo, Sidecar, Capital Bikeshare and Parking Panda.
Want to see more RideScout options in your city? Please let us know! We’re always just an email away at email@example.com.
Until next time,
We are officially declaring February 19 Austin Day! Our team has landed in Texas and we’re all in on showing Austinites how RideScout can make their lives a little bit better. DC has rocked their #ridescoutresolutions; now let’s share that with Austin.
Here’s what’s happening. If you’re in the area, please join us for any or all of the events below. We can’t wait to meet you.
RideScout is proud to announce service with Austin B-cycle, CapMetro, and car2go Austin that helps residents of Austin discover and use many of the available forms of transportation.
RideScout, Austin B-cycle and CapMetro will discuss their overlapping missions to provide the people of Austin with safe and reliable transportation. RideScout is the technology that brings them together in one app, just in time for SXSW.
Remarks are to be made by Austin B-cycle’s Elliott McFadden, RideScout Co-Founder & CEO, Joseph Kopser, and Todd Hemingson, Capital Metro’s Vice-President Strategic Planning & Development.
Where: The press conference will take place at the NW corner of Republic Square (4th and Guadalupe), in front of the Austin B-cycle station.
When: Wednesday, February 19 from 10:30-11:30AM.
We’re also hosting open events throughout the day to meet the RideScout community. Come say hi!
Details: The RideScout team will be on hand to listen to app feedback and share information about RideScout’s growth and expansion. This is a perfect opportunity for press and bloggers to learn about RideScout. More info here.
Where: Ginger Man
Details: Whether you’ve followed RideScout’s journey from the beginning or are interested to meet the team, join us for a beer and let’s celebrate RideScout in Austin. RSVP here.
Thereâs nothing more frustrating than sitting in traffic, car idling lazily while wasting gas and emitting carbon monoxide into the air. In many big cities, you might have just as easily hopped on the bus, taken the subway, rode a bike or simply walked. But figuring out which method is fastest would take just as &
14-16 February is a big weekend in Austin. It’s the Austin Marathon, the first gorgeous weekend of Spring weather, and it marks the first official week of Austin BCycle service in RideScout… CEO Joseph Kopser took a spin through all 26 BCycle stations.
Our adventurous CEO, Joseph Kopser, woke up this morning in Austin and wanted to take an Austin B-Cycle out for a spin. Instead of a leisurely bike ride, however, he decided to make today the first annual #ATXBikeathon, visiting all 26 bike stations throughout Austin. Click through to follow his journey!
Happy Valentine’s Day, Scouts! Today in Washington, DC we’re handing out some super sweet Valentine treats with our friends at Capital Bikeshare and the DC Circulator. You may just find a RideScout Cupid at your metro station, on your bus, or hanging out at a couple of popular bikeshare stations around the city.
Didn’t get a Valentine from us? Don’t sweat it. You can still use the hashtag #sweetridedc on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for a chance to win sweet giveaways including $60 in baxter bucks for Blind Dog Cafe, $75 to Blackfinn, a 30 minute massage at Lunar Massage, services at Mind Your Body Oasis and coffee credit to Java Shack.
Use the hashtag #sweetrideDC today and over the weekend. We’ll be picking random winners at 10am on Monday.
Thanks for being our favorite users! We ❤️ you guys!
All pickup up and ready to go!
Valentines in Gallery Place.
Our Valentine was excited to try RideScout!
DC Circulator riders on 14th Street get a sweet surprise.
Dupont Valentines love.
Over the course of January, we followed the journey of four app users who resolved to make their lives better by changing their transportation habits. We move from point A to point B, so many times over the course of a month, why not see if you can break a habit?
With RideScout acting as their guide and mentor, each contributor made a RideScout Resolution for 2014. Some wanted to save money, while others just wanted to explore or burn those cals by taking active modes of transportation. Lets review, shall we?
The LA Transplant
We began our year with Jeni Sue Birnbaum, who made a resolution to discover alternates to her late Prius, which she left behind in a recent move from LA to DC. Now back in her native Washington, she discovered a love for the DC Metro and walking to the best concert venues in the city, allowing a little extra leeway for a burger every now and then.
Although the Metro often proved to be the best option, it has it’s…idiosyncrasies. Jeni Sue told us all about her issues with “The Sweatros,” and instructed us on how to be more polite (hint: don’t push). Hey, you can always find an alternative!
The Biggest Loser
In the process of trying out all the available options, she discovered that new modes of transit don’t just get you there faster, but also enable you to better experience the world around you. She certainly experienced the Metro when she bared it all for the No Pants Metro Ride.
The DC Explorer
Not everyone started their RideScout Resolution journey as a transit newbie. Levi Rokey was a pro that was inspired by Kurt Vonnegut to continue exploring the various haunts, dive bars, monuments, bottomless brunch spots, neighborhoods, and parks that make the Nation’s capital such a great place to live.
In true DC style, Levi took us on a tour of DC, first stopping at PJ Clarkes for a few Mary Standards, and then driving a car2go to the White House for a visit to the press room. Have you ever experienced a car2go caravan? If not, you should.
Each of our users did an awesome job of using RideScout to make 2014 their best year yet. Keep it up, Scouts, keep on moving and exploring the world around you. As Levi would quote, “Hello babies, welcome to Washington.” Next up we’ll be saying welcome to Austin, Boston, San Francisco and the world…
A week back, the good chap who gave us our first tour of the White House asked mid-week if myself, Carrie, and a few others wanted to hit up some lanes, and pound a few lagers, bowling at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, that upcoming Saturday. Well the dude abides Donny.
After a warm-up cocktail and a forestiere, served courtesy of the good barkeep, Logan, at Le Grenier, Carrie and I hopped in a nearby Car2Go, which she found courtesy of RideScout. We had to be at a specific spot and not a minute late. Although parking was a bit horrendous that evening, we arrived intact, with a Samuel Adams Cold Snap twelve-pack.
After clearing security, our crew entered the gaudy, splendid, piece of architecture. On the trip towards the basement, we walked by quite a few artifacts from past President’s time there. We also noticed these short doors to who-knows-where. They were rather Shirelike in their lack of height.
As we walked into the bowling alley, it felt like walking into the past. Well, every bowling alley feels like that, but this one had that history. We wondered out loud who played there, where they sat, how well they played. If those walls could talk, they’d tell some interesting tales. For the next two hours, we bowled and drank a few beers.
The alley only has two lanes, and one was broken (aged), so we could only go one at a time. That worked better, allowing us to focus on the poor dude/dudette whose turn it was. It seemed we actually improved as the night wore on. With round two came a string of four strikes in a row. We were shooting smoking-guns like The Jesus.
After bowling, we took the X2 from Lafayette park to Wise Guys Pizza on 4th and H NW, using RideScout to time it perfectly. The jumbo slices we had were phenomenal, and the value stacked up against any similar joint in D.C. Go there if you haven’t. Stuffed and satisfied, Carrie booked us a Hailo home. This driver had no troubles getting us where we needed to go.
That evening of exploration really tied the weekend together.
P.S. Rest in Peace Mr. Philip Seymour Hoffman. You will be sorely missed. Goodnight, sweet prince.
Levi Benjamin Clay Rokey is a social media analyst, music lover, news junkie, happy hour spelunker, Kansas State University alumnus, and Founder of the Exploratory Committee of Crawls and Shenanigans (ECOCAS). You’ll find him promoting the Third Annual Arrested Development Never Nude Crawl on H Street NE or just generally being loud. You can learn more about him here or find his tweets @DCExplorer.
As part of my Ridescout Resolution I vowed to save more money on transportation. Whenever I can I walk, but at 8:45 in the morning I would rather be carried from point A to point B, via Metro. I’m also trying to save money because of the SmartBenefits program through WMATA. Get your employer to sign you up, and you can have your transportation costs deducted directly from your paycheck- pre tax. Beating the system, yeah! Actually, no system is being beaten, it’s just a neat program.
This past Monday, I ventured to my neighborhood metro stop, the Dupont stop, to take my usual one-stop trip to Farragut North. Now, don’t you dare judge me- this is a significant walk, and while I’ll make it when the weather’s above 65 degrees, sometimes I would just rather not. So don’t judge me!
I entered the station after traveling down the 188 foot escalator (For real), to find a big time backup on the smaller escalator down to the Glenmont platform.
(It’s like a Magic Eye. But instead of seeing a cute picture, you see VERTIGO.)
OK, it’s now Monday, and people are probably running late due to the combination of hangover and heartburn from the Super Bowl. So I didn’t think much about how empty the area was. I then managed to make it down to the platform, which was the most crowded I have ever seen it. I attempt to make my way through the crowd further down the platform and see that the train is stopped with its doors open. People have squished themselves so tightly in each metro car, that the people on the edge can BARELY fit in past the doors.
I continued to walk slowly down the platform, eyes glued to the madness occurring on the train. If these people weren’t sick before, they are now. If these people didn’t know what their neighbor ate for breakfast, they do now.
I managed to grab a spot against the back wall/barrier, and witnessed what D.C. commuters attempt when stressed and running late. Washingtonians when stressed will do rude things, but no one will really acknowledge any ill manners. And if someone does acknowledge it, it’s a meek “Please stop” or “Excuse me.” You’ll never hear a “WATCH IT BUDDY” or “YOU KIDDIN ME RIGHT NOW?” No blows thrown. No verbal abuse. Maybe a piercing side-eye or two. But that’s it.
I looked at the metro doors attempting to close like my pants post Ted’s brunch. It wasn’t happening. (By the way, try the “Walk of Shame” burrito.) The doors stayed open, and a crackly voice came over the loudspeaker: “THIS TRAIN IS NOW OUT OF SERVICE. PLEASE EXIT THE TRAIN. THIS TRAIN IS NOW OUT OF SERVICE.” Of course it is. Because it’s Monday and everyone has somewhere they have to be at that moment in time.
The commuters already on the train forced the crowd back as they spilled onto the platform. So now we had a fantastic combo of a crowd already waiting, and even more disgruntled commuters who were ejected from their train.
I remained calm, because I know that in the AM, the trains usually run about 1-2 minutes apart. So you miss a train, you wait a minute.- literally!
Another train came right after, and the crowd attempted to get on a pretty much filled to capacity train. It took about 6 trains (maybe a total of 15 minutes) to finally transport enough people, so that the reasonable human beings left on the platform could take the next train in comfort.
*I have a few suggestions to those people at the front of the platform, edging their way into the car.
Don’t push. If you’re in a situation that requires pushing, then wait for the next train IN 1-2 MINUTES.
Walk to the Middle. Please listen to me when I say you should walk to the middle. Oh, you’re getting off at the next stop? People in D.C. are actually nice enough that when your train pulls up to the next stop and you say “Excuse me” they will move: Magic!
Be self-aware. Oh, there are two people waiting to board a not-so-crowded car, behind you? By all means, go wild and spread your belongings right by your spot next to the door. There are 10+ people behind you? KEEP IT MOVIN’.
Wait. Again. There will be another train in 1-2 minutes. Your immune system and blood pressure will thank you.
Try these out, see how they fit, and just chill. Maybe that’s the L.A. portion of my life that just won’t quit. But seriously, let’s all chill. Namastaycool, D.C.
Jeni Sue Birnbaum is an L.A. survivor, who somehow though moving back home to work for her mother was a good idea. When she’s not curing Cancer, or ending global poverty, she’s tweeting at @jenisue, blogging at Not Lena Dunham, or posing with adorable third world children for additional OKCupid photos.
As I may have mentioned, I am originally from South Florida, and lived there until August ,2008, when I relocated to Ballston with my sister. I lived for the days between December 1st – May 31st (AKA snowbird season), and loved every minute of it- especially the time I spent outdoors. Those were the days where I would site-see and people-watch near all the local places. I enjoyed sitting outside and wondering where people were from, and whether they were natives or had a second home , somewhere. It was an experience I didn’t take for granted, knowing come June 1st, I would be relocating to Virginia.
(In November 2012, sister and brother-in-law biked in the Florida Everglades National Park – Shark Valley. Way off in the distance you can see an alligator. We counted 51 alligators on the 15 mile bike ride.)
The appreciation I gained for the local sites and outdoor winter activities dramatically changed after my move. If anything I gained an even greater appreciation for South Florida, and began looking at it not as the place I used to live, but as a great escape to visit friends and family. Unfortunately, travelling back and forth was beyond my budget, but me and my sister devised a plan to spend the winter holidays in Virginia, and then take a family trip come February. Virginia is really cold in February , and we needed a vacation in warmer weather. From there, our idea further developed into not just revisiting Florida, but spending some time on the neighboring tropical islands.
So each year we now get away for 3 days, and each day corresponds to a holiday :Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas- it’s wonderful! We have been to Marco Island (mom wasn’t much for flying), Puerto Rico, Jamaica , and St. Thomas. This year we are headed back to Jamaica in April. (Now, April isn’t February, but it is in the Caribbean and I definitely have something to look forward to.)
This year, a friend’s family adopted our idea and I tagged along to the all-inclusive resort. It was their treat (and I love the Caribbean)! We left early Saturday morning without any complications other than a short layover in Detroit, where we would meet up with everyone (10 total!). Now how does this play into my New Years resolution? People use the “I’m traveling” excuse not to exercise, but not me! I brought along my sneakers because all the walking and a little cardio here and there really does add-up on these long trips. And I always remember to wear compression socks when I fly (to prevent swelling), regardless of how long the flight is.
So my vacation was off to a pretty good start considering I was able to still fit in my daily cardio. Exercising each day is very important to me, regardless of whether I am travelling ,or not .This trip was no different, so once at our destination I woke up early the next morning and went for a run in downtown San Miguel. I really enjoyed running alongside the beach ,and seeing others walk and bike beside me. It was nice to see other like-minded folks enjoying the weather. My friends didn’t have a fixed itinerary set, so I also got as much beach and pool time in as possible .
(Run Route along the streets of Cozumel)
Like most travelers we rented a car, as carshare hasn’t caught on in San Miguel, yet . Together we went on a snorkeling boat-trip, on Monday. It was so nice to get on a boat and snorkel ( two of my favorite things to do). The boat ride lasted an hour, but we had plenty of time to snorkel. The reefs were beautiful, and I saw a lot of tropical fish: it was the highlight of the trip for me.
On the ride back, I noticed a separate bicycle/scooter lane on the Chankanaab highway. Although, we didn’t rent bikes during our trip- it was nice to see people commute into town that way. I made a mental note to check-out bike rentals for the trip in April .
All in all, it was a great trip and I am really glad I went.
PS: I ate healthy 70% of the time. It’s not that easy to do while on vacation, but possible. Plus I made sure to eat 2 apples a day.
Jessica Tunon is a seasoned analyst and project manager that has turned her passion for health, social good and innovation into a career. Jessica promotes the health benefits of walking, healthy communities and sharing economy. You can find out more about Jessica on Twitter.
“Streetcar” is the buzzword everyone has been talking about- at least in certain DC circles, that is. So, what exactly is a street car? What is this “It Mode” that has the chattering classes atwitter? Well if you’ll stand fast, with the help of these FAQs, I’ll make you street smart about streetcars. All aboard!
What exactly are streetcars?
Street Cars are public transit vehicles that run on rail tracks built into the street. Powered by overhead electric wires, streetcars are bigger than standard buses but smaller than metro cars. Painted red, they’re matchy-matchy with the Circulator, Capital Bikeshare and taxis.
For detail-loving nerds, this is how the streetcars size up to other transit vehicles:
Source: DCstreetcar.com FAQ
Where will the streetcars go?
Plans call for a 37-mile system that goes north, south, east and west to extend throughout the city. A 22-mile priority system will be developed first.
The first line to get moving is an east-west route that runs along Benning Road and H Street NE. It goes from Oklahoma Avenue NE to Union Station, making eight stops along the 2.4-mile route. The tracks and wires have been installed and streetcars are now taking test runs in anticipation of beginning passenger service this spring. As for the rest of the 22-mile priority system, it is expected to be built between now and 2020-21.
How do I ride?
There are elevated platforms to board at the same level as the streetcar. It will be more like boarding the metro than stepping up onto a bus.
Bonus: you can bring your bike into the car, like on metro. Win! By the same token, the cars are also accessible to strollers and wheelchairs.
Can I use my SmarTrip card?
Fares, schedules and SmarTrip integration are to be determined. Stay tuned, Scouts.
Are streetcars new to DC?
Nope. In the first half of the 20th century they were everywhere. A 200-mile network blanketed the metropolitan area until 1962, when service ended because cars and buses became de rigueur. Our CEO, Joseph Kopser, has some more info about the crazy decline of the streetcar on his blog.
Why are they coming back?
In one word, options. We love options and that’s just what this addition to the DC transportation system delivers. Formally speaking, the streetcar serves these purposes:
Link neighborhoods with a modern, convenient and attractive transportation alternative;
Provide quality service to attract and reach new transit ridership;
Offer a broader range of transit options for District residents;
Reduce short inner-city auto trips, parking demand, traffic congestion and air pollution; and
Encourage economic development and affordable housing options along streetcar corridors.
Our wealth of options is more than a feeling. It’s quantifiable. Walk Score, the popular measurement of a neighborhood’s amenities within walking distance, recently released 2014 transit scores that rank DC as the fourth most transit-rich city in the US. This just reinforces DC’s street cred as a leader in the alternative transportation movement.
We’re looking forward to providing you with more options in RideScout. Stay tuned for more DC streetcar news and integration with the app.
Are you excited about the streetcar in DC, yet?
Andrea Adleman is an award-winning journalist, food critic and communications consultant. After more than five years of rigorous study, she earned a PhD in Cupcakology. As a practicing cupcakologist, she conducts field research far and wide, incorporating studies of urbanism and transportation along the way. A car-free resident of the Atlas District in Northeast DC, she is a Capital Bikeshare addict who habitually studies the bikes before choosing her two-wheeled companion. (Downward-facing bell: essential. Larger, reflective pedals: desirable). Find her Tweets at @ARAdleman.