Skift Take

Using apps to crowdsource congressional complaints is a clever idea, especially when frustrated and bored travelers are your target user. The challenge will be raising awareness of the app and the cause in order to build enough volume.

U.S. Travel Association has come up with a clever new way to get citizens to reach out to their local representatives in support of the Highway Trust Fund.

The fund is the nation’s primary source of infrastructure spending and is set to run out this summer. Both President Obama and the Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx have outlined plans to replenish the funds before they run out this summer.

In an effort to crowdsource constituent complaints, the travel advocacy group partnered with bipartisan coalition Building America’s Future to promote the organization’s I’m Stuck mobile app.

The goal is that some of the 41 millions Americans expected to travel this weekend will download the app and then send their U.S. Representative or Senator a message indicating where they are stuck in traffic and urging the recipient to act on the Highway Trust Fund.

Users tap to indicate which mode of transportation they are using, then plug in their location, approve a pre-written message, and add their personal information to send the message. Users can also add a photo.

The app’s pre-written message for a traffic jam says, “I’m stuck in traffic wasting time, fuel and money. All around me are trucks, commuters and families delayed and frustrated. Congress needs to act now before the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money. It’s important. It’s your decision. It’s past time.”

As U.S. Travel Association CEO Roger Dow explains it, “Much like Foursquare invites you to ‘check-in’ when you’ve arrived at your destination, I’m Stuck will alert lawmakers to journeys that are too often plagued with delays that leave travelers sitting in travel purgatory.”

The question now is whether Americans will actually use the app and whether the volume will be great enough to influence lawmakers.


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Tags: traffic, usa

Photo credit: Cars stuck in traffic. Getty Images

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