Lethbridge Transit has just launched a new component of their fixed route software solution that will help riders plan trips and access their transit schedule way more easily. Previously, they had installed mobile data terminals in 63 of their transit and access-a-ride buses, which allows real-time vehicle tracking and provides the data for their traveler information systems. They also launched a smartcard system called MyBreeze in 2011 to provide a cashless faring solution for riders. Using the MyRide LT site, riders can now access real-time schedule information to help them to plan trips, check arrival times, and store favorite routes and stops. Not only that, the site has pages that show fares and instructions for how to receive departure times via text message. From a single location on the web (and accessible from smartphones or any web-enabled device), LT is able to provide all the real-time information a rider can ever need.
LT’s Planning & Technology Manager, Abby Slovack, has made it her mission to get more people using transit in Lethbridge. “For those customers who do use technology, we wanted to make riding transit simpler.” Serving a high volume of university students, Abby says they knew that mobile technology, when integrated with existing scheduling and dispatching fixed route software, would vastly improve their service offering. “As a transit system, we want our customers involved,” she says. It was this insight that has led LT to undergo a transformation in the past few years, with initiatives to bring new buses and fixed route software solutions. Tasked with increasing ridership, LT took advantage of specific funding to help Lethbridge lead the way in rider-facing technology.
Future plans are exciting as well. They are preparing to launch an online portal for MyBreeze, as well as an online portal for their Access-A-Ride passengers, which will allow them to book and manage trips online, bolstering their total fixed route software solution. In addition to their 5 digital signs in the downtown terminal, they are hoping to expand the system to include 3 other terminals at the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge College and the North Terminal. As a result of the new technology, rider response has been outstanding, Abby reports. She sent us this quote from a new rider:
“I am an international student and I just moved to the country a month ago to write my thesis. Everything has been overwhelming so far except getting around the city, thanks to your bus drivers and your website – MyRide. I know it’s a tough, thankless job, but please know that we all really appreciate it, even if we aren’t often vocal about it. Thank you, a million times over!”
As part of the launch, Lethbridge Transit has also done the work of marketing their new services. Unless people know about what options are available, they’re not going to get engaged with transit options. Showing how valuable a transit system is for a community is vital in bringing in new users and getting riders engaged and excited is essential for an agency to thrive. LT has broadcasted over Facebook and Twitter to create some online, word-of-mouth buzz. They have also hosted events at both Lethbridge College and University to target the specific demographic of ridership they’re trying to reach.
We’re excited that Abby will be sharing her expertise and knowledge in our upcoming webinar to discuss “Spreading the News: Tips on Transit Technology Marketing.” It’s set to occur on November 4th at 1pm EST and you can sign up to attend here: https://wcc.on24.com/webcast/report?e=1052491&k=6FB2FE001B3D5ED3AAC0244B4943F97D