A partnership between Durham-based transit technology company TransLoc, public transit agency GoTriangle and Uber may one day help better connect commuters to public transportation, particularly in more suburban areas.
The Triangle recently became the first market for TransLoc’s Uber upgrade to its bus and transit tracking mobile app. Through the app, called TransLoc Rider, passengers can plan their route and book an Uber to cover the trip to or from the bus stop.
The impact has yet to show up in GoTriangle’s ridership numbers, which hover around 1.8 million passengers per year between 2013 and 2016. A customer service survey conducted by GoTriangle in 2016 found that about 8 percent of GoTriangle riders said they had used an Uber or Lyft in conjunction with a bus trip in the previous 30 days.
Officials said partnerships like this will be increasingly important to provide seamless mobility for everyone as bus services – and the boundaries of the Triangle – continue to push out in all directions.
“Our pilot with GoTriangle has proved to be another step toward overcoming the first-mile, last-mile obstacle many people outside urban centers face when trying to access public transit,” said Josh Cohen, TransLoc’s director of strategy and partnerships.
The TransLoc Rider app allows people to find the best route to get from place to place, whether that be through public transit, walking, Uber or a combination, as well as where their bus is and how soon it will arrive. Evelyn Cashen of public relations firm Antenna Group, representing TransLoc, said 105,000 people used Rider between February 2016 and 2017, but the company is not sharing figures for the number of people who used Uber during that time.
“The added value of the pilot is not about the specific numbers of people who are using transit and Uber but the ability to seamlessly integrate another transit mode that makes trip planning even easier for our riders,” said Mike Charbonneau, GoTriangle director of marketing and communications.
Transportation technology company TransLoc announced on Monday a partnership with Uber, marking a significant advancement in the ride-hailing company's effort to ally itself with public transit agencies.
TransLoc, which builds technology products for public transit passengers and agencies, will integrate Uber into the TransLoc Rider app, a smartphone application that provides real-time bus tracking and route planning.
San Francisco-based Uber's app allows passengers to order on-demand rides from their smartphones.
The integration will allow passengers to plan trips that combine public transportation with Uber rides and walking, TransLoc officials said. The idea is to offer Uber as a way for passengers to get from home to a transit stop, and from transit stops to their destinations.
Public transit agencies lose many potential riders because they lack options getting to or from the bus or train stop, TransLoc said.
"Such partnerships will enhance the attractiveness of public transportation," Michael Melaniphy, president and chief executive of the American Public Transportation Association, said in a statement.