Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Your MBTA Bus Ride Will Never be the Same Again



Your MBTA commute is about to get a lot more exciting. For the past few months, I've been interning for a group of MIT graduate students who have produced an incredible app: Alight. Instead of wasting your money on overly-expensive tour buses, you can now ride local MBTA routes and get a tour of the exact same quality on your smartphone!

It's super simple: you choose a route, and the app will tell you when the next bus is coming at the nearest stop. Once you're on board, the app will use your location to play "stories" all along the route. These can range from sports to history to local attractions, and you can sort out which themes you prefer to customize your experience. It makes bus rides so much more interesting, not only for tourists, but also for locals who might learn a thing or two about new neighborhoods! I recorded a bunch of stories, too, so look out for those...

Keep in mind that the app is very much a work in progress at the moment - we only have a few routes up and running. However, you can change that with the "Create" tool. Yes, you're able to record your own stories that other Alight users will be able to hear! The process is quick and easy, and it turns the app into a melting pot of local stories just waiting to be told. Also, if you submit ten stories, you get an Alight water bottle, so do it!

If you want to give it a spin (it's free!), you can download it immediately from the Google Play Store, and while there's no iPhone version yet, you can sign up here to get a notification when it's released.

Screenshot Image
A story on the 1!

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