The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) announced the launch of a new Ride On Trip Planner app that should make using the Ride On bus service easier and more convenient.
The new Ride On Trip Planner app allows for trip planning across multiple modes, including Ride On buses, Metrorail and Metrobuses, scooters, and Bikeshare. Additionally, the app will give live reports on wait times and ridership levels for Ride On buses by utilizing a crowdsourcing information feature.
“Today’s public transportation consumers expect the ease, access, and information that smartphone apps can provide to improve their commute,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Improving mass transit ridership and eliminating cars from our roads is critical to our goals to combat climate change. I expect this app will help improve customer service as well as help attract more riders to use Ride On services. I am thankful to the Federal Transit Administration for providing us with a grant for this effort.”
The app allows more Ride On buses to be added to busier routes based on immediate needs. It also provides features to guide riders along their chosen route, including “first mile, last mile” directions to a selected bus stop and push notifications when they have arrived. A web-based version of the app also is available.
“MCDOT’s new Ride On Trip Planner app addresses two common requests we hear from customers,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “They can determine their travel times in advance and see more travel options with the inclusion of other modes such as Metro and Bikeshare. The app is a big step forward in making public transportation more accessible for everyone.”
The app also includes dashboards for the Ride On Central Communications team to monitor bus loads and more quickly dispatch additional buses when buses are full.
“With this app, we can quickly alert our bus dispatchers during high-volume travel times and request additional buses be sent to in-demand routes,” said Director Conklin. “The app will let us be more efficient with our resources and ultimately reduce wait times for riders.”
The Ride On Trip Planner project was funded by a Federal Transit Administration grant received by MCDOT.
MCDOT launched the app in partnership with the creator behind the popular urban mobility app Moovit, which has guided more than 1.7 billion users in 3,500 cities across 112 countries. Moovit’s White Label App solution is the technology behind the new service.
“Planning efficient, convenient commutes to work, school, shopping, appointments and entertainment has never been easier,” said Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer Yovav Meydad. “We’re excited to be working with MCDOT to provide multimodal trip planning, real-time information and comprehensive travel information and guidance.”
In a trial period for the app over the past 30 days, MCDOT encouraged riders to download the app and share their experience with Ride On by emailing comments to RideOn.TripPlanner@montgomerycountymd.gov, through MC311 or via social media. The feedback is being used to optimize the application. Feedback is still welcome.