Go Denver App: Will It Help Find Better, Cheaper, Faster Ways to Get Around?

Go Denver, a new transportation app, went live yesterday — right about the time that Mayor Michael Hancock unveiled it at Union Station. Go Denver melds multiple modes of transportation into one app that's designed to help commuters find the fastest, cheapest and greenest routes to their destinations. It’s basically Google Maps with added traveling options, including Lyft rides, Car2Go rentals and taxi services.

“We’re about meeting people where they are, and this new app puts transportation choices right at people’s fingertips and helps us stay on top of changing commuter trends so we can provide safer, sustainable transportation choices in the future,” Hancock said 

Go Denver is the result of eighteen months of biweekly meetings between city officials and Xerox, the company that developed the app. Since Denver has the oldest bike-share program in the country with Denver B-Cycle and a strong transportation service in RTD, it was the perfect place to test the program, explained Xerox Senior Vice President David Cummins.

By tracking where people are going and how they're getting there, the app also provides important information to the city, said Crissy Fanganello, director of transportation for Denver's Department of Public Works. And it will be especially useful to consumers during rush hour, she added, because Go Denver will point out alternate routes. “If we can help people find better, faster and cheaper ways to go about their daily lives, we can improve the quality of our transportation network for all users,” Fanganello said. “It’s critical that we provide our residents with access to mobility options so that they can make more informed decisions.”

According to Cummins, Go Denver will be updated every other week. Soon you’ll be able to pay for private transportation with it as well, he added; currently, if you choose Lyft as your traveling option, you'll have to open the Lyft app.

One convenient feature already included in the app is the ability to book a parking spot before you start your trip. Cummins used his own phone to walk the crowd through landing at DIA and planning a trip to the Sheraton Hotel downtown using Go Denver; the app compared parking rates around the hotel and directed him to the cheapest and most convenient option.

The app itself is smooth, lag-free and easy on the eyes. It’s integrated with Google Maps and displays real-time estimates, taking into consideration traffic, bus-arrival times and your location in relation to services like car2go and bike-sharing stations.

Go Denver listed thirteen ways for me to get from Union Station to the 1UP on East Colfax. Riding my bike, I’d burn approximately 49 calories (that’s it!?), waste no money and emit no toxic gases into the air. The quickest alternate option, the app advised, was to wait three minutes for a Lyft that would cost approximately $6.40 (versus $7.33 for a taxi, or $.63 in gas if I used my own car) and emit .5kg of CO2 into the air.

There’s more planned for Go Denver in the future, including analyzing and restructuring your travel routines through the app's pie charts, stats and recommendations. But right now, the app has more than enough going on to download Go Denver. Whether you’re trying to burn more calories, lessen your carbon footprint or just get to your destination faster, this user-friendly app gives you that power.
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