New app guides KC streetcar riders to downtown destinations

The Kansas City creators of a new mobile app hope to help riders of their city’s new streetcar line discover and reach downtown destinations.

StreetcarKC helps people locate the nearest streetcar stop, providing directions to each stop. The app includes information on the streetcar’s schedule. It also allows users to search for nearby attractions like stores and restaurants, and it provides satellite images of those places.

The app, which is not sponsored or endorsed by the operators of Kansas City’s streetcar, is now available for download in the App Store.

StreetcarKC is a joint effort between Michael Gelphman, founder of Kansas City IT Professionals (KCITP) and the Disruption Institute, and Kevin Montanez, a software developer and former student at the Disruption Institute, a code school that teaches pupils to build apps through a 10-week bootcamp.

They spent three weeks building StreetcarKC. Since then, they have been working on upgrades and new features. Gelphman said the app is community driven.

“It’s just a way to build something meaningful for the city,” he said. “The point is to help people discover local experiences in downtown Kansas City.”

Gelphman said in the future, he wants to encourage users to generate content within the app such as user ratings, reviews and FAQs about each location. But at this point, the focus is on helping people, especially those who aren’t familiar with downtown Kansas City, “visualize how to get to places.”

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