Public transit apps made a big splash in 2013. Zoute is a new public transit app that is aiming to make public transportation easy. First, Zoute Inc is launching its app on Android first, bypassing the iOS first approach that happens so often with high-quality apps. Second, Zoute is offering public transit schedules as well as real-time departure information, something that the company hopes will set the app apart from competitors.
The makers of Zoute hope that their app will also offer an improved design interface as well as give users one app that they can go to for both public transit schedules and real-time updates on departure information. If they can pull this off, Zoute would be a complete public transit app. "Our goal is to make one app designed for people who don't have a car, or who take public transit," Hai Le, one of the company's founders, told TechCrunch. He added, "We provide two pieces of information – both the fixed time schedule and the real-time departure information." The company hopes to add alerts and push notifications in future updates.
Right now the app only supports public transit in the San Francisco Bay area. The company is based in Mountain View, California, so this makes sense. Zoute pulls local information for the BART, SF MUNI, AC Transit, and Stanford University's Marguerite Shuttle. They are looking to expand into other cities, and even work with public transit agencies that don't offer any sort of real-time departure information. By the end of this year, the company plans to expand to other major metropolitan areas like Boston, Washington D.C., and New York City. The company is less than two months old at this point so the current focus is on drawing users to the app, with expansion into other cities to follow.
The company's founders, Hai Le and Li Li, used to work at Loopt. Loopt is company that offers geosocial networking and location-based services for Android as well as iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone devices. Both Le and Li stayed with Loopt after it was purchased by Green Dot, and now they are hoping to make waves with their own location service. You can find the app on the Play Store using the link below.