With the idea forming in early 2020, references to Sidetrack are soon entering their third year. It begs the question: what have I been doing all this time!?
Simply put, planning out and testing the idea. There's a lot going on behind the scenes, I have lots of ideas and I'm now confident that we're building something that could provide value to many people. I'm hoping this post goes some way to explaining where the project is, and where I hope we'll end up.
What is Sidetrack?
Sidetrack aims to be the only public transportation app you need on your iOS and Android phones, but will initially be focussed on providing conductor-grade rail data in real-time to passengers in the UK.
We hope to take the sting out of delays, platform changes, and other last-minute changes by keeping you in the know and making it our priority to get you where you need to be in as few interactions as possible.
Who is behind it?
Sidetrack is an independent business developed and run by James Sherlock. With a decade of software engineering experience working on high-volume systems, and enough frustration about trains to go around (or not go around as many trains tend to do), I'm hoping to deliver the best mobile experience for public transit.
That isn't to exclude any help I've had or will continue to receive along the way, be it contract designers, industry contacts, or technical friends. The code will be written by myself, but without the community this project will be nothing.
I'm passionate about building high-quality mobile applications that you want to use, here are some of the technical pillars which feed into every decision I have and continue to make:
- Available to all. Sidetrack should only reduce the stress of travelling. Regardless of your native language, the assistive technologies you use, or your existing knowledge of the rail network we hope that our app is easy to use.
- Your data is yours. We will not target adverts at you, your data can be easily exported, and you can delete what minimal data we store at any time. We will put you in control, and be transparent at all times.
- Forward-looking. We understand that public transportation isn't standing still, and the way we move around is constantly changing. We'll be constantly looking at ways to better serve our customers and build a better tomorrow.
Of course, we have many campaigns we'd like to run building on top of our pillars and our core culture.
We hope you'll stick with us as we look to build out our platform, and follow us on Twitter to find out when we first launch in 2023.