Kona Farry, Community Transit schedule analyst. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Kona Farry, Community Transit schedule analyst. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Kona Farry: His app helps boost public transit ridership

This transit analyst discovered the joy of car-free travel during college. He wanted to share his enthusiasm.

This is one of 12 finalists for The Herald Business Journal’s annual Emerging Leaders awards for 2022. The winner will be named at an event on April 27.

Kona Farry, 24

Schedule analyst, Community Transit

Kona Farry knew nothing about coding when he set out to design an app to boost the use of public transit.

Farry, who grew up in Marysville, discovered public transportation when he attended the University of Washington in Seattle.

The city “had more people and more businesses. There were always people everywhere, it felt alive,” Farry said. “I could walk or bus anywhere I wanted, free from the confines of a car.”

Outside the classroom, he schooled himself in the basics of public transit operations and scheduling.

By developing a mobile app, he hope to share his knowledge and enthusiasm.

“I taught myself everything I know about writing code through this project, starting from nothing at the very beginning,” Farry said.

His aim? Develop an app that answers the question that transit riders and would-be riders ask without fail: When will the bus be here?

In 2019, Farry released Pantograph Transit Tracker, a real-time tracker of transit vehicles.

Pantograph tracks more than 15,000 transit vehicles on some 2,600 routes in the United States and Canada.

Farry continues to refine the mobile app, which has been downloaded by thousands of people locally and across the nation.

“Tackling new software challenges, learning about other transit systems, and building this unique tool has been deeply rewarding,” Farry said.

Two years after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in community, environment and planning, Farry is now a schedule analyst at Community Transit, Snohomish County’s public transit authority.

By making transit easier and more enjoyable to ride, Farry hopes to play a part in creating a more sustainable, traffic-free future.

“I’m dedicated to building robust mobility options that increase access to the world and ease of movement,” Farry said.

In 2017 and 2021, Farry managed campaigns to elect a candidate to the Marysville School District Board of Directors. He ran for a seat on the board in 2019 and 2021 but was not elected.

He is also a founding member and leader of ASCEND, a Marysville-based group of students, parents and educators that advocates for educational systems that more effectively meets the needs of students.

“I’m passionate about a radical re-imagining of our broken educational system,” Farry said. “Education and transportation are essential, widely impactful services that affect us all, and there is broad interest in making serious improvements to these systems.

Farry is also working with the Snohomish County Music Project to help them tell their story and reach new audiences.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

The annual Emerging Leaders award by The Herald Business Journal seeks to highlight and celebrate people who are doing good work in Snohomish County. This year’s partners in the award are HeraldMedia, Leadership Snohomish County, Leadership Launch and Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Co-sponsors are Gaffney Construction, Inflection Wealth Management and the Port of Everett.

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