In anticipation of the expected extra traffic and congestion during the 2012 Olympic Games–and to give Brits an extra incentive to walk to work, Recyclebank and Transport for London have partnered to release an iPhone app that gives users rewards when they opt out of public transportation and choose to walk or cycle to get around instead. Transport for London notes that it’s often easier and faster to walk around central London than it is to take public transportation- and since public transportation will be at its most crowded this summer, Transport for London created an easy way for local and visiting spectators to find out a more efficient- and less stress inducing- way to get around the city.
Transport for London hopes the re:route app can promote a healthy, eco-friendly lifestyle while also better managing crowds on public transportation during the Olympic Games. The app uses gamification to encourage users to travel by bike or on foot to help the environment and their waistlines – every time someone uses the app, they are rewarded with points that can be redeemed for things like shopping discounts at Marks & Spencers or hotel stays at Haven Holidays. To use the app, travelers input their route’s start and end points to discover ways that mix and match public transportation with walking and cycling; they can also customize routes based on goals- if they want to focus on maximizing calorie burn or minimizing carbon footprint.
The re:route app uses a timer and GPS tracking to make sure people aren’t cheating and are really walking or cycling- all trips must last at least four minutes to count towards rewards. The app also features weather alerts, Facebook connectivity, community carbon impact, and total bikes in use. Users can also use the app to see the current status of Barclay Cycle Hire bikes, (updated every 3 minutes) so they always know when and where bikes are available to rent around London.
The re:route app is a healthy alternative for Brits or tourists commuting to work or just exploring the city- by having added options like weather and bike rental status, users can easily plan trips that accommodate walking and cycling and public transportation, should the weather change or a bike isn’t available. The app promotes healthy living through exercise and awareness; the public carbon map serves as a powerful reminder of just how beneficial walking and cycling can be to a person’s health and for the environment.
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