Offer A Superior Passenger Information System (Not A Cookie Cutter App)

Offer A Superior Passenger Information System (Not A Cookie Cutter App)

A passenger information system is the first crucial touchpoint a rider has with your agency. When a rider is ready to take a trip, they rely on the transit information you publicize to get them to their destination safely and on time. Studies show that passenger information systems with real-time information help riders feel less anxious about taking public transit and improves their perception of your agency.

Buying a ready-made transit app that can be launched to market quickly and economically is undoubtedly an attractive option for agencies. An off-the-shelf app allows riders to view schedules and vehicle locations, save tickets and passes, favorite trips, and receive alerts. Isn’t that all your agency needs?

However, when your passenger information system (PI System) is the first touchpoint for a rider, can your agency make a good impression when the app offers a limited cookie cutter experience?

If growing ridership is one of your agency’s priorities, passenger information is the north star that will guide riders to your services. That’s why it’s vital to invest in a comprehensive passenger information system that communicates accurate and reliable trip information to riders in your agency’s unique brand voice.

Let’s explore the difference between off-the-shelf transit apps and TripSpark’s MyRide passenger information system.

What do riders want from your agency?

Taking public transit is stressful for riders because of all the things they don’t know: when will the bus arrive, where is the closest bus stop, why is the bus late today?

What riders want from your agency is simple: a reliable and accurate source of transit information they can access when and where they want with a desktop or mobile device. Since knowledge is power, riders equipped with information from your PI System feel more in control when taking public transit and more confident about your agency’s ability to get them to their destination.

What do riders want from a passenger information system?

Not being able to depend on the schedules or vehicle locations from their local agency is frustrating and turns riders off taking transit.

Riders want a passenger information system that:

  • Provides accurate real-time schedules and vehicle locations.
  • Doesn’t crash, freeze, play ear-piercing ads, or ask for a rating every five minutes.
  • Notifies riders about detours and disruptions before the trip.
  • Hides information and restricts functionality on the free version of the app (and don’t get them started on having to pay for information to take public transit).

While you may save time delivering an off-the-shelf transit app to your riders, the trade off is likely scalability, functionality, and customer experience. It can be difficult to make a good impression on riders when the PI System offers a limited cookie cutter experience.  

That’s where TripSpark’s MyRide passenger information system shines.

MyRide vs Off-the-Shelf Apps

Comparing MyRide to generic transit apps, both solutions appear to offer similar functionality for trip planning with real-time information.

What’s different about MyRide?

The difference is MyRide is supercharged by a dynamic information engine, TripSpark’s Streets fixed-route software. With all the real-time features riders love, there’s no more guessing when the bus will arrive or how long the journey will take.

Streets provides a continuous stream of transit information to MyRide, including stops, routes, real-time schedules, and GTFS-RT feeds. Any service update made in Streets is automatically pulled into MyRide so that information displayed by the PI System remains fresh and accurate. This also requires less work from busy agency employees.

Knowledge is power to riders and they want as much travel information as your agency can give them. A web services API integrated MyRide adds another layer of information beyond service status and real-time vehicle locations, such as bus speed, heading, and passenger load. Agencies also have the flexibility to add additional pages for fares, news, or programs.

As a web-based application, MyRide is available 24/7 on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, but has SMS text and interactive voice response (IVR) options too for riders who don’t have internet access. MyRide is designed to meet ADA and WCAG 2.1 AA requirements to provide riders with vision impairments an accessible and inclusive source of trip information.

Riders will know they are indeed using the agency app for Springfield, Missouri and not Springfield, Massachusetts when the app stands out from the crowd with agency branding and customizations unique to your programs and services. As services grow or change, MyRide can be modified to evolve alongside your agency without losing key functionality for riders.


Riders feel anxious about taking public transit because of what they don’t know about the trip. Since knowledge is power, agencies can offer a passenger information system with real-time transit information that helps riders feel fully informed during a trip.

An off-the-shelf transit app is an economical option that can be quickly launched to market. Many of these one-size-fits-all solutions provide the same features as MyRide. But when a PI System is the first touchpoint a rider makes with your agency, can a cookie cutter experience without your agency’s unique brand voice make a good impression on riders?

If growing ridership is one of your agency’s priorities, passenger information is the north star that will guide riders to your services. Invest in a solution with a dynamic engine powering trip information behind the scenes, requires less work from agency employees, and provides the scalability or modularity that gives your agency more control over the PI System’s functionality and features over time. Something off-the-shelf apps simply can’t offer.

MyRide shines because it gives riders the trip information they want and agencies more involvement in how the passenger information system represents their organization. Contact TripSpark and let’s have a conversation about giving riders trip information they can depend on from the MyRide passenger information system.