Although apps providing information on Cache Valley Transit District bus schedules and locations have been previously available, the district has partnered with a third-party developer for this process for the first time.
“This was the first time we found a vendor that we felt had enough features that we really wanted to partner with them. Although it didn’t really cost us anything to do this partnership, we’ve agreed that for the next year, this is our preferred app and we are promoting it as such,” said Todd Beutler, the general manager of CVTD.
According to Beutler, the Transit app, available on the iOS App Store and on Google Play, has information on public transit systems for a few hundred cities throughout the world, including Salt Lake City.
“It is nice that you can get used to a particular interface and you don’t have to change if you go somewhere else and you want to use public transit,” Beutler said.
In addition to providing public transit information, the app also integrates with ride-sharing apps. In the future, if a scooter or bike rental service were to come to the valley, Beutler said that could be a part of the app as well. Steps like this are taken to consolidate the transit apps a user would need and address the first mile/last mile issue of transit.
The new information for the CVTD routes will launch on the app this week.
“It is going to be really good for the daily rider, but also the person who has never used the system before,” Beutler said.
According to Beutler, the app includes features that allow users to plan their trips, receive notifications for when they need to catch the bus, find the stop closest to them and how to get to that stop, as well as see real-time updates on when the bus will arrive.
Holly Hyer, the CVTD board chair, said she rides the bus less now that she is retired and is excited that the app will make it easier for her when she does.
“In today’s world, everybody wants all of the information now. This takes care of that need,” Hyer said.
Beutler is also excited that the app will make it easier to communicate changes or adjustments regarding transit routes to the public.
“It is tough trying to communicate with the public with all the detours that are going on, with construction and congestion; it comes and goes,” Beutler said. “This makes it usable that folks now have the answers to those questions at their fingertips.”
Recently, a USU student launched a smaller-scale app titled “Logan Transit,” which can show the locations of buses on both CVTD and Aggie Shuttle routes. While this app isn’t affiliated with any bus service, Beutler told The Herald Journal last week that the concept sounds helpful.