In recent weeks, Pokémon Go has gone viral across the United States, with millions of users of all ages joining in on the interactive game. Due to the huge commercial and cultural success of the game, transit agencies are getting in on the action.
In the game, players use their phones to locate and capture virtual Pokémon characters in the real environment around them. Players can also pick up virtual supplies at real locations designated as PokéStops and battle their collection of Pokémon at designated community Gyms.
In an effort to boost ridership and make transit more fun for commuters, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other transit agencies have taken to social media to promote opportunities to catch Pokémon on trains, collect supplies at PokéStops located at transit stops, and battle other users at Gyms which can be found in many large transit stations. LA Metro has even created a specific Twitter account @PokemonGOMetro, to make followers aware of Pokémon located throughout the Metro network.
In addition to the emerging intersection of transit and pop culture, Pokémon Go are situated at many iconic pieces of infrastructure, including many of ASCE’s Historical Civil Engineering Landmarks. Pokémon and PokéStops can be found at or near the U.S. Capitol, Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, and many other landmarks, allowing users of the game to experience some of the greatest examples of American infrastructure.
The National Park Service has also seen an influx of visits from Pokémon Go players, as many park visitor centers are designated as PokéStops or Gyms. While the Park Service has welcomed the new visitors, they have joined other government agencies in warning players to be aware of their surroundings while playing, and to never drive while playing. As long as users of the wildly popular game stay safe, they may be able to have fun while learning about some of best transit and infrastructure America has to offer!
Leave a Reply