TransitHub: a community and discovery tool for local hidden gems

If you’re traveling around the city of Toronto by transit this Thanksgiving long weekend, you might want to check out TransitHub for information about what’s hot along your route. 

Founded in June 2011, TransitHub is both an online discovery tool and a community which helps you discover local, insider knowledge about the best places to eat, shop, and explore around your favourite transit stations and stops in the city.

“What drew our team together was our passion for building a community around transit and our passion for helping people discover our city through the transit system,” says John Krissilas, CEO of TransitHub.

Krissilas pitched his idea for TransitHub at large team of people who were interested in working on the business with him. “We’re all having a lot of fun, working towards something we believe in, and are all learning something new about building a business every day,” says Krissilas.

TransitHub is helpful for both active, urban transit users and local businesses alike.

Transit users can enjoy TransitHub as a fun way to explore the city and find those hidden gems that only local insiders would know about, like a historically-significant piece of architecture or a popular place to get a great cup of coffee. The website is currently focused on must-visit spots in Toronto – like this story about discovering a hidden alleyway of street art near Bathurst and Bloor.

Local businesses can use the TransitHub platform as a way to build awareness among an active group of customers who are looking for new experiences.

For now, the community is centered on the TransitHub blog, which launched in August.

“We’re using the blog as our initial testing ground to identify the tips and stories that people are most excited about,” says Krissilas.

TransitHub is also looking to work with local tourism organizations. “We’ve recently had discussions with potential tourism partners to help them attract more visitors to the city,” says Ian Garmaise, Project Manager at TransitHub.

The company has great plans for the TransitHub mobile app, which will launch in a few months. “On Startup Weekend, we spoke with a German tourist who complained that he was having difficulty finding a restaurant to eat at the intersection where he was standing. He actually had to stop someone on the street and ask them for a postal code, so that he could then put it into Yelp to find local recommendations. People meet at intersections and hubs, not postal codes. We want to make the mobile experience much better for our community,” says Neil Jain, Marketing at TransitHub.

You can check out an early sign-up for our beta to learn more, or share some of your stories on our blog. Anyone can contribute their story, and we want to get lots of feedback from the community about what they want to see,” says Krissilas.

Techvibes will be watching to see how this project evolves over the coming months.