Photo Credit: Keira Burton
This Houston Travel App Gets Travelers To Their Destination Faster
Although Houston has grown increasingly popular as a travel destination among Black travelers, the traffic there sucks. Travelers and locals complain about the endless traffic throughout the Texan city. with commutes anywhere in the city taking at least 30 minutes.
The Texas Department of Transportation is taking steps to address this issue with a new Houston travel app. Created with developer Metropia, Houston ConnectSmart optimizes commutes throughout the Houston area and filters routes based on user preference.
In an efficient approach to controlling traffic, TxDOT hopes the app will also help the city see fewer automobile crashes in Houston.
A Smarter Commute
Houston ConnectSmart offers a variety of features and filters designed to decrease traffic throughout the city. Users are able to customize their routes from beginning to end and tailor routes to fit their commute.
In addition to finding the ideal route, users can also find nearby parking, review traffic conditions from roadside cameras, and get free emergency roadside assistance. If you’re looking for a new group of folks to ride with, the app even connects users with carpooling services.
“Traffic is a regional concern that has an impact on every commuter, an impact on our safety,” Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan said in the release. “The thing that excites me the most are the app’s safety features. ConnectSmart’s effort to reduce serious and fatal crashes is another tool to help us achieve our goal of reducing fatalities in half by 2035 and to zero by 2050.”
The special filters in the new Houston travel give users full control over mapping their route. They can filter to only show routes with select speeds as well as filter out routes with a lot of pedestrians or cyclists.
A Collaborative Effort
The new Houston travel app is a collaborative effort between TxDOT and a plethora of stakeholders throughout the city. If travelers using the app don’t have a vehicle, they can find a bunch of other transportation options in the app. They can find bus times from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County and even rent a bike from BCycle. Purchases for rentals and tickets can be made right in the app.
Many businesses and organizations in the Houston area came together to bring the app to life including the FHA, the Houston-Galveston Area Council, the city of Houston, Houston METRO, Houston TranStar, Tow and Go, Conroe Connection, and Fort Bend Transit. The project was initially proposed in 2016 and predicted to cost around $17.8 million to create.
A Crash-Free City
If Houston can get its vehicle traffic under control, it could potentially reduce the number of car crashes happening in the city. More car crashes happen in Houston than any other city in Texas. One car wreck happens every 10 minutes. TxDOT wants to get a handle on this issue and save more lives in the process.
Currently, Houston ConnectSmart is available in the counties of Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, Wharton, and Walker.