Smart Cities

The Pivot app: intelligent trip planning built to power transit today and inform advancements tomorrow


The Pivot app: intelligent trip planning built to power transit today and inform advancements tomorrow

Pivot is Central Ohio’s intelligent navigation app, which uses smart city technology to improve trip planning for local transit options. This application makes it simple to get around the region, no matter what type of transportation people use.

Why Pivot Exists

Pivot is the brainchild of Smart Columbus, a smart city program in Columbus, Ohio. Smart Columbus started in 2016 with a $50 million grant that allowed the organization to innovate regional transportation in Central Ohio. By combining smart city technology with a user-friendly, technologically advanced, and convenient application, Smart Columbus can move the area’s mobility into the future.

Pivot was designed to make it easy for residents in the Central Ohio region to make travel plans with a comprehensive set of mobility service providers. By making transportation simple, Smart Columbus seeks to improve the quality of life for Central Ohio residents, reduce traffic congestion, and support more sustainable transit options.


Who Pivot is Meant For

Pivot is meant for anyone in the Central Ohio region who needs to plan or book travel. It’s beneficial for people who use multiple regional transit options, those who want to know the absolute best way to navigate a particular route, and those who want to centralize all of their regional transit information.

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Benefits of Pivot

Pivot has many benefits, such as:

Optimized routes for maximum efficiency: Pivot uses the transit data available for Central Ohio to generate the best routes to get users where they want to go.

Supports all regional transportation options: This application centralizes local transit options, including COTA, Yellow Cab, Lime, CABS, COGO, Lyft, Bird, Uber, and users’ vehicles. Centralizing all of these transportation options in one place makes it incredibly convenient to get around Central Ohio without referencing multiple resources.

Turn-by-turn directions: This application supports turn-by-turn navigation for both driving and walking.

Customized transportation options: Users can configure their profile to include the transportation options they prefer and whether they have any special accessibility needs that must be considered during the route creation process.

Links with mobility providers: Users can link their accounts with local mobility providers into Pivot, allowing them to consider that transportation option for their journey and pay for any services seamlessly.

With the Pivot app, you can also:

Set up bus journeys: The Pivot app shows bus stops near the user, which routes they’re associated with, and bus locations in real-time. Users can book their bus trips directly in the application and see whether they need to transfer to a different route while en route.

Book taxis and rideshares: Users do not need to open up individual taxi and rideshare apps to book these services. They can do it directly within Pivot.

Book bikes and scooters: Users can look for bikes and scooters and book them, making it simple to get around the region.

Plan more efficient commutes: This smart navigation app uses smart city data to create completely up-to-date routes with local conditions. General-purpose GPS applications may not have that information, especially if they rely on user reports for traffic conditions.

Use more sustainable transit options: Pivot makes it a lot easier to know which of the area’s many regional transportation options exist, what routes are currently available, and book the preferred transport method. By simplifying carpools, buses, bikes, scooters, and other sustainable transit options, users can better choose environmentally friendly options.

Gain greater access to essential resources, such as grocery stores and social services: A lack of transportation can cut people from many vital resources, and figuring out public transit routes can be confusing. Pivot simplifies the entire process, which helps to connect users to these critical resources.

Proactively address traffic jams: Smart Columbus can take a proactive approach to traffic management in the region by encouraging users to consider transit options outside of their own personal vehicles.

Mix and match services: Users can set up routes with a combination of mobility providers based on their preferences and the places they travel.

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Drawbacks Of Pivot

But the Pivot app also has some disadvantages, such as:

It’s useless outside of Central Ohio: Pivot is a regional navigation app, so its usefulness comes from being so specialized for this region and its local mobility providers.

It might take some time to explore regional mobility providers: When users set up their transportation preferences, they may need to research mobility service providers to see whether the app should include them in recommended routes.

Users may prefer another navigation app: People may want to use their own navigation applications, as they may be more familiar with that functionality.


Pivot Pricing

The Pivot app costs nothing to use on its own, but the transportation options users choose may involve fees. For example, if a user wants to navigate a ride with a ridesharing app, they would need to pay for the ridesharing service. All of these payments and bookings can easily occur within the Pivot app, so there’s no need to load up each service’s app.


Alternatives to Pivot

Pivot is an official local transportation application offered as part of the Smart Columbus smart city program. No directly competing applications are available, but the primary alternative to Pivot is simply using each transportation service’s application.

However, users who have accounts with many local transit providers will be better served by using the centralized platform to plan and book travel more easily. People who only use their own vehicles still benefit from this application, as the navigation app can update routes based on frequently changing local traffic data.

The Pivot app reveals how beneficial smart city technology is, as it helps improve the transportation of Central Ohio for all residents in the region, no matter how they get around.


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