Realtime info for CDTA bus routes and ride hailing services in one place

Transit app CDTA screenshots

A few screenshots.

Check it out: An app called Transit has rolled together CDTA route info with ride hailing services such as Uber and Lyft into one place.

So you can open the app and see which buses are nearby and also when you might be able to get a car via a ride hailing service and how much that might cost.

CDTA is one of a handful of transit orgs around the country that are part of the new feature. And playing around with the app today, we were surprised with how smoothly it blends together bus arrivals, Uber/Lyft rides, walking, biking, and even bike share. We might use it now instead of the CDTA app.

Transit (the app) blurbage for "Transit+":

In theory, ridehailing services are perfect complements to transit. They make it easier to live car-free, knowing you can always hail a car, without needing one in your driveway. And for people in transit deserts, ridehail can connect them to transit hubs (for first- and last-mile trips.)
And it's why?--?despite some misgivings?--?transit agencies have partnered with ridehailers like Uber, Lyft, and Via.
But it's also why transit agencies are so psyched about transit-oriented ridehailing. We've taken ridehail's "first- and last-mile" advantage out of theory, and put it to into practice. With Transit+, we now emphasise connections to transit?--?rather than itineraries that jealously try to capture the bulk of your miles. What's more, we've integrated more operators, so agencies aren't put in the awkward position where their "official transit app" doesn't support their "official ridehailer".
Forced to pick "transit or ridehail", Transit+ now offers agencies and riders a third?--?and better?--?choice.

If you've listened to transit officials, planners, and nerds the last few years, you've probably heard the term "multimodal" a lot -- usually in reference to combining different forms of transportation for one overall trip.

CDTA has been talking a lot about this recently. The Navigator payment system is a first step toward CDTA becoming a common platform for buses, shuttles, bike share, and (maybe) taxis. Services such as bike share -- potentially e-bike share -- are, in part, about extending the reach of other services, like buses. And it's why CDTA executive director Carm Basile said last year of services such as Uber and Lyft: "We view ride sharing as another menu option. And it can work with what we do."

So while this sort of integration of transportation info is convenient today, it also points to a potential future in which a bunch of different services are working together more closely.

Ride with an app

This is a good opportunity for us to spin a few tracks we've played multiple times before:

1. If you're not currently a bus rider, you should try it. You might be surprised how convenient or enjoyable it is, especially for a commute. And even if it doesn't end up being an every day thing, you'll know it's an option.

2. If you're riding the bus, you should definitely get an app with bus info -- whether it's the CDTA app or this Transit app (or whatever else might work). The realtime info about when buses are set to arrive makes a big difference. (It's not perfect, but it's often good or good enough.) And having all the schedule and map info readily available is very useful.


+ A year later I'm still using a bike to get around town -- here are a few thoughts about how that's worked out

CDTA advertises on AOA.


Weirdly, I just saw this on a bus from Albany to Troy that I found with Transit. I tell people to download this app all the time! It will even give you walking directions and tell you when to start walking toward the stop and when it’s time to get off the bus, so it makes using CDTA super easy. It’s extra great because if you head down to the city you can also use it to find your way around the subway, so you don’t have to download a separate app for each transit system!

I'll give this a look, but I've not had problems using google maps which has had both android and desktop support for walking/auto/bus/rideshare support for some time now.

I'll second trying out Google Maps (at least for Android and PC) for this as well. I found it much more user friendly than the CDTA app and have never looked back.

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