Last month, Betabeat talked to HopStop CEO Joe Meyer about “holding [its] own against the giant”–that being Google–especially in New York, where HopStop started. Now that the revamped site, with integrations from Yelp, Groupon, and Hertz, has been out for a week, we’re curious if it’s enough for Google Transit loyalists to switch back to the original. We haven’t been able to test it out for the accuracy yet (Mr. Meyer says HopStop has more realtime inputs than Google) as–miracle of miracles–all our most-frequently used subway lines appear to be running on schedule.
But while we appreciate the mix-and-match options of picking certain subway lines or choosing more walking over transfers, those features were always there. Finding nearby restaurants and bars still looks cleaner and takes less clicks on a Google map. And if we were going to rent a vehicle, it would be via ZipCar, not Hertz.
In the age of data mining and transparency, however, HopStop has stepped up its marketing efforts by borrowing a page from that other local trend-spotter, OkCupid. The Awl recently referred to co-founder Christian Rudder as “that guy from that dating site who is so good at getting publicity.” Betabeat got an email yesterday from a HopStop rep who promised a series “digging into our data and publishing reports on New York trends.” The first one uses subway data to figure out if we’re really a Yankees or a Mets town, although the results are less than scientific. Now if only there was a way to tie New Yorker’s transportation choices to their sexual habits, we’re sure their blog traffic would skyrocket.