Photo by Flickr user gatesofmemphis
Whether you’re new to Memphis or you’ve been traveling the Bluff City by car your entire life, learning to get around the city using public transit can be intimidating.
An improved version of the smart phone app TransLoc Rider takes the guesswork out of commuting by bus, trolley, or even Uber. An older version of TransLoc Rider, which launched in Memphis last year, simply plans bus and trolley trips. But now the company is beta-testing a pilot version of the app that allows users to hail Uber cars as part of their overall trip planning.
The beta app is a partnership between TransLoc, Memphis Area Transit Authority, and Uber, and it went live this week. The agencies are currently seeking beta testers from the Memphis market to try it out. To sign up, go here.
Here’s how it works: Once the user has entered their destination, TransLoc Rider provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to get there by bus or trolley. If one needed to travel from an office downtown to an office in Germantown, the app would provide the user with the nearest bus stop, tell the user which bus number to board, where to get off, and at what time. If the first bus stop or the final destination are too far by foot, the app lets the user know when and where they should request an Uber ride. Uber cars can be booked directly from the app, and the app even estimates the fare.
TransLoc Rider provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to reach your destination.
Jennifer Gardner, a spokesperson for TransLoc calls the Uber addition a “first mile/last mile” solution.
TransLoc’s goal in Memphis, one of two areas of the country testing out the app in its pilot phase (the other city is Durham, North Carolina), is to boost public transit usage and attract new bus riders.
“Technology is rapidly changing how we move through our communities,” said Doug Kaufman, CEO of TransLoc. “TransLoc Rider makes it effortless to combine multiple modes of transportation including both public transit and Uber.”