“Transit” goes live with RIPTA information on Thursday, December 8, 2016
By Barbara Polichetti of Rhode Island Public Transit Authority
Waiting at a bus stop and wondering if your bus will arrive on time?
You don’t have to wonder any more. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is pleased to announce the introduction of real-time transit information through “Transit” – North America’s most popular public transportation app. Using the Transit app, which is available for both iPhone and Android, riders can now get accurate arrival predictions of all RIPTA lines. In addition to telling passengers when their bus will arrive, the Transit app also enables customer to watch their buses approach on a map – therefore limiting wait times at stops and relieving commuter anxiety.
“We believe that public transit is the backbone of our economy, and plays a vital role in connecting our communities and providing access to jobs,” said Barbara Polichetti, Director of Public Affairs for RIPTA. “That is why have been looking for ways to provide our customers and partners with the convenient timely information they need, and we think that the real-time tracking provided by the Transit app will give them the power to better plan their day with less fear of missing the bus”. RIPTA uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to track its buses and one of the challenges it has faced is finding ways to make that information available to the public with an easy-to-use interface. “That’s one of the reasons that we are so excited to work with Transit,” Polichetti said. “They are experienced in using this type of data to help transit authorities provide a better experience for their customers.” In working with Transit, RIPTA joins dozens of other transit agencies in North America, including Boston’s MBTA, which recently announced that Transit would be the single agency-endorsed application in their city.
“Technology is bringing exciting and useful tools to public transportation,” Polichetti said, noting that this past weekend RIPTA participated in a statewide mobile app “hackathon” challenge, in which a wide range of young developers used RIPTA’s real-time bus data to come up with their own ideas for RIPTA apps. “We’ll be following up the hackathon teams, so there may be more developments that are useful to our passengers down the road,” Polichetti said. “We’re also working with Google with the goal of getting our real- time information integrated with Google Maps.”
With an intuitive interface, the Transit app helps users easily navigate transportation networks with accurate real-time predictions, simple trip planning, and step-by-step navigation. Transit’s trip planner includes real-time information, so projected arrival times will be based on vehicles’ GPS locations rather than on the official timetable. This also means that when using the Transit trip planner, users can discover transit connections that should be impossible (according to the official schedules), but are clearly quite possible based on the actual locations of the buses.
Rhode Island residents wishing to try Transit on their mobile devices can download it free from the App Store or Google Play. The thousands of RIPTA customers who have already been using Transit when they are in other cities will not need to take any action; they will now see accurate arrival times on their selected routes within the app, indicated by pulsing waves.
Transit solves the urban commute in 125 cities worldwide. On launch, it displays nearby transport options and departure times in big text and bright colors. Users can easily navigate public transit with accurate real-time predictions, simple trip planning, and step- by-step navigation. The app also integrates other transportation modes — bike-sharing, car-sharing and Uber — so users can determine the best way to get from point A to B. With millions of active users, Transit has emerged as the leading urban transit app in North America. The company is based in Montreal, QC. You can learn more by visiting www.transitapp.com
For information on RIPTA services, passengers may call (401) 781-9400 or visit www.ripta.com