Hit The Road creates app for voters to find polling stations

23 Feb 2011

Dublin-based start-up Hit The Road has created a public transport journey-planning app just in time for Friday’s General Election, so voters, especially first-timers, can navigate their way to their nearest polling station.

Via the app, people type in their location and the polling station they are registered at and, hey presto, the Hit The Road election app will give precise directions to the polling station.

The site also has a mobile-optimised version for smartphone users (iPhone/Android) for journey planning on the go.

Founded by developers Ross Shannon, Fintan Fairmichael, Eugene Kenny, Eoin Bailey and Stephen McBride. Hit The Road itself was launched in May 2010 following Dublin Startup Weekend. It is currently engaged in the LaunchPad programme at the National Digital Research Centre.

First-time voters

Shannon says the election app is targeting first-time voters who may be unfamiliar with their polling station, and also people who have moved out of home and will need to get back to their local polling station before the polling booths close at 10pm on Friday.

“Our idea for the general election version of the site was inspired from discussions on the Open Data Ireland mailing list. Fingal County Council has been progressive in making its data public and were advertising a dataset of the polling stations in their area.

“Dublin City Council also has a Google map that lists its polling stations. We thought that enhancing the original Hit The Road website with the locations of the polling stations would be helpful to those who don’t know where their station is and/or need to find out how to get there via public transport.

“Armed with this data, we made the site,” adds Fairmichael.

Already, the Hit The Road team has created a public transport journey-planning service app that people can use to find directions in and around Dublin. The company, which supports Dublin Bus, Luas and DART services, is in the process of developing new offerings.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic