Free mobile app helps users navigate Austin

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on February 19, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 19 at 7:40 PM

AUSTIN -- If you need to get from one part of Austin to another but don't know the best way to get there, the RideScout app provides with solutions such as buses, trains, Car2Go and B-Cycle.

RideScout also provides walking directions, maps, estimated prices and even allows your Facebook friends to offer you a ride.

RideScout was a contest winner at SXSW back in 2012. Founder and CEO Joseph Kopser is now celebrating its success in a media conference with city and transportation leaders.

"It is absolutely not just for downtown, because what I like doing is leaving my car someplace outside of the downtown area where it’s free parking, then taking all of these solutions downtown," said Kopser.

Currently, Kopser is a Next Generation Project Texas Fellow at the Strauss Center at the University of Texas with a focus on energy policy. He's also a Leadership Austin alum. 

He was recognized by the White House in November for his work on RideScout as well as his work in defense energy.

His app launched in Washington, D.C. in November, and hopes to expand in San Francisco.

Kopser said he wants user feedback on the app.

"Try it out what works best, what services do they want to see," said Kopser.

KVUE tried a trip from Northwest Austin to City Hall.

Starting at Hart Lane near Far West Boulevard there are a couple of choices, including walking seven minutes to an available Car2Go or three minutes to the nearest bus stop. The app informs the user how many minutes until that bus arrives. From there, it's a 55-minute ride to downtown's Republic Square Park.

There, users can walk the three blocks to City Hall. RideScout also provided the option of connecting with Car2Go and the B-Cycles nearby.

Executive director of B-Cycles, Elliott McFadden, says they're seeing more than 600 bike checkouts a day on busy weekends

"We have already expanded went from 11 to 26. Now we are going to be at 40 stations by South by Southwest," McFadden said.

Next week, they begin installing the additional rental bike stations. Among areas will be the East Eleventh Street corridor as well as Barton Springs Pool and Zilker Park.

Bailey Jones brings his own bike on the red line, then bikes the rest of his commute.

"I try to avoid Mopac,"  said Jones.

The idea of RideScout is to help others make these types of choices.

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