For a thorough review of our approach, solution, and methodology, please visit our complete proposal.
Many of our team members are from Taipei, and several others still reside there, so we know the pains of local traffic quite well. Being able to adapt our traffic solution with unique features designed to reduce Hsuehshan Tunnel congestion is a blessing.
What it does
Metropia seeks to reduce traffic congestion by dispersing drivers along different routes at different times and even to different destinations! We empower our users with critical traffic information and reward them for avoiding traffic and saving time.
How I built it
Metropia has been a project many years in the making. Our talented team includes leaders in transportation management who have vast experience in using software and technology to improve our roadways. While the foundation for this app is already active in several markets, adapting it for this solution took a new approach.
Challenges I ran into
The first challenge we encountered was dealing with limited route options to and from Yilan. The long periods of heavy congestion during holidays are also more significant than what is normally seen in many cities. These limitations actually helped us by forcing us to think outside the box and add a new dimension to our travel-shifting approach. In addition to luring drivers to change their departure times and take new routes, we now also present our users with a list of top destinations that are close-by. In addition to saving them time, this approach goes well with our incentives and rewards program, as we’re able to offer our users a discount to these alternate destinations in exchange for visiting them that day.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Pulling it all off! There was a considerable amount of effort put into this project. To start with, we had to run models and simulations to properly understand and address the fine details of the Taipei-Yilan congestion issue. From there we brainstormed ways to tailor our approach to this unique problem, and once we’d refined our solution the real work began. Plenty of programming and reprogramming (and reprogramming) have gone into this effort.
What I learned
Heading into this project, we knew that tourism travel is more flexible than the commuter trips Metropia normally targets in urban areas, but even we were shocked by the results of a survey on holiday traffic taken by Taipei drivers. Over 70% of survey respondents indicated that they were willing to travel at a different time, change to a different destination, or both if it meant avoiding the heavy congestion that plagues the Hsuehshan Tunnel. The pain of holiday and weekend traffic to Yilan was resounding, and the public's willingness to change destinations gave us a clear directive to pursue this new feature in our app. Aside from the additional reduction in traffic, guiding people to consider fun attractions around Taipei helps boost local tourism and creates a more vibrant economy within parts of the city that aren't typically seen as holiday destinations.
What's next for Metropia: The Rewards of a Faster Hsuehshan Tunnel
Our carpooling feature, DUO, is just now reaching the public. We will next look to further reduce the number of vehicles on our roads with multi-modal features that make it easy for our users to take public transportation. These features will allow drivers to see travel options such as taking the bus or subway when planning a trip without the need to take any additional steps like looking up train times, bus routes, connections, and the like--we do all of the work! By removing these obstacles, we make taking public transit more convenient and accessible. While sitting back and relaxing on the bus, these users can look in the Metropia rewards store to see how they'll spend the bonus points they've earned by taking mass transit and removing another car from the road!