Are you already dreading your commute home this evening? Kari Watkins isn’t, and she doesn’t want you to either.
Watkins is the civil engineering professor who’s been all over the news lately thanks to the app she co-created, One Bus Away. She’s also a bike commuter who says you don’t have to be a “super cyclist” to ride through town on two wheels. In a city where car culture is endemic, Watkins advocates easier, cheaper and more environmentally friendly ways to get around.
The mobile app OneBusAway, which tracks public transportation in real time, now includes arrival times for MARTA trains in addition to the MARTA buses and Georgia Tech shuttles already featured in the app.
If you’re tuned in to transit-related news in Atlanta, you may have recently seen or heard Georgia Tech’s own Kari Watkins any number of places.
The assistant professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering — who is also a Tech alumna (CE 97) — has several projects related to sustainability, transportation and information, two of which have been the subject of media interest in recent months.
Dr. Kari (Edison) Watkins (CE ’97) thinks it might be a good thing for Americans to cool down their love affair with the automobile. Her research promises to make that separation a little less painful.
“A lot of people think of public transportation as a stinky old bus that you have to wait for,” says Watkins, an assistant professor of civil engineering whose work has focused on collective transit, alternative transportation, and real-time user information software.
"But if the service respects me, by being a nice, frequent, on-time vehicle, people change their attitude.”