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New trip planner tool combines Divvy, public transit for smarter route

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Coord helps riders plan a trip in a way they actually travel

UIG via Getty Images

While Divvy and other bike-share programs provide an affordable transportation option for some Chicago residents, the apps and digital tools accompanying them have been clunky at best. Now, Coord, a mobility data company, is hoping to solve that problem.

While it’s easy to plan a trip from one Divvy station to another, it’s harder to plan out a route combining bike-share and another mode of public transportation.

Recently, Divvy launched a much-needed new app, Divvy Bikes, which resolved some usability issues. However, the current route planning tools, including Google Maps and Transit app, don’t reflect how a large number of riders actually use the bike-share service.

Bike-share programs help fill the gaps in public transportation for some residents. One Divvy user, quoted on the company’s website, said, “I use Divvy to connect to the train—it’s a full 20 minutes faster than the bus could get me there.”

Now through Coord, which launched in Chicago on Thursday, users can plan a trip seamlessly combining both Divvy and public transportation. Trying get to the 606 or the Lakefront Trail? Coord will tell you using a combination of the CTA, Metra and bike-share with real-time station information.

Backed by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, Coord first started testing its platform in New York City and D.C., and pushed out maps for Chicago and San Francisco this week.

When using Coord you can select which transportation options you’re looking to combine and then the app will give you a few route options and a total trip time. It’s a web-based app that works easily across desktop and mobile devices. While the app uses a Google base map to show the geography of the city, the data and tools layered on top is what makes Coord unique.

Earlier in May, the city began a pilot program for dockless bikes on the Far South Side. In the demo version of the app, information on any bike-share service other than Divvy wasn’t included. According to Coord, the company does plan to incorporate Lime Bikes into the app once the provider makes bike data public, which it hasn’t done yet.