App delivers last-mile options for NC train travelers

App delivers last-mile options for NC train travelers

Commuters in North Carolina’s major metropolitan areas can now download a trip-planning app that shows the best options for going to and from train stations using a combination of public and private transit data.

During a three-month pilot program, riders can access an app that offers trip planning to and from nine Amtrak and “NC By Train” stations in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury, Kannapolis and Charlotte, according to the announcement.

When users enter their train station or their location into the Rider app, it displays multimodal route options from the user’s front door to the station platform by combining information from Uber, real-time bus tracking and other public transit options with the train schedule. For example, a route could include walking, taking a bus or booking an Uber to or from the station. In time, and after frequent use, the app will learn the rider’s cost and transportation preferences and provide a more customized route.

To build the app, the North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division partnered with transportation software developer TransLoc. 

This pilot is part of NCDOT’s initiative to reduce the number of transit deserts and give citizens more travel options without increasing costs. “Our partnership with TransLoc is helping us create a large network of interconnected public transit options,” NCDOT Rail Division Director Paul Worley said.

The app already is being used in Gainesville, Fla., which similarly combines information on Uber availability with bus services to give students the University of Florida more transit options.

North Carolina riders can download the TransLoc Rider app from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

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