If you take the bus to work instead of driving a car, you can feel a bit of some self-satisfaction knowing your commute isn’t so harmful to the planet. But that’s about all you get—unless you live in Miami.
This week, Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced a new app called Velocia that rewards those who partake in carpools, use trains and buses or scooters and bicycles to get around. Even walking can translate into rewards.
The concept is simple. If you leave your car at home and use the mobile app to track your means of transportation, you earn points, or Velos, which can be redeemed for more transportation. So take a bus and you can earn Velos to get an Uber or Lyft to your final destination.
Barbara Walters, 75, was one of the first to try out the new app as part of its August soft launch. Velocia, which can be downloaded on iPhone and Android, started with 2,000 beta users and has increased to more than 5,500 by friend referrals and word of mouth. Walters said it’s become a habit to track her transportation and it’s saved her “a lot of money,” and forces her to walk more.
Since she started using the app, she has taken at least 50 short Uber or Lyft rides to go from a train terminal or bus stop to her final destination and has not paid more than a dollar, thanks to the Velos. Can we get this app running in more cities?
This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we get ready to welcome 2020!