Has the popularity of the Kansas City Royals found its match with the Kansas City streetcar?
No — probably not. But if you live in or around the City of Fountains, you probably know that its new downtown streetcar is quite popular.
Since opening day, the streetcar has carried a total more than 645,000 passengers along its 2.2-mile line with a daily average ridership of 6,800 people, according to the Kansas City Streetcar Authority. In early August, Slate reported on the streetcar’s success, demonstrating that it appears to be bucking a trend in the U.S. that urban rail transport is not only unpopular but also poorly designed.
Well, the local service’s popularity may be rolling to another boost as the Disruption Institute recently updated its app to offer several new nifty features. The app — which was released early June — allows users to track the real-time location of each streetcar to help the plan for arrival times at each stop. The Streetcar app — available only on iOS devices — also added a discovery tool to help users find the best routes to nearby restaurants, bars and entertainment.
The Disruption Institute founder Mike Gelphman said that the app — which enables users to select any of the 10 streetcar stops to pull up walking or driving directions to the location — already has thousands of downloads. The app was developed by Gelphman and a recent graduate of his coding school, Kevin Montanez.
“Downtown Kansas City has come alive in such a remarkable way thanks to the streetcar and we wanted to help by building something meaningful,” Gelphman said. “The pulse is so much stronger now — like that of a bigger city. People are out on the sidewalks, talking, interacting and connecting. We really wanted to build something meaningful for Kansas City and we hope this app can become something that will help connect Kansas City even more.”
Learn more about the app update with the video below.