Augusta Transit could be getting technology to help make your ride easier

Published: Aug. 9, 2016 at 6:25 PM EDT
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Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) --It's a frustration Augusta Transit Director Patrick Stephens says his department wants to fix, so riders know when they need to be at their stop.

"This is another step and probably and probably a critical step that will get some technology in places, Stephens said.

During Tuesday's committee meetings, commissioners voted to spend more than $500,000 dollars on new software. Grants from the Federal Transit Administration will cover 80 percent of the cost.

"This is best practice across the United States right now and it's really dealing with real time arrival information," Stephens said.

A new app called "My Ride," Will help you to see if your bus is late, if it is broken down, and when will it arrive.

"Right now we really don't know where they are, if they get stopped by the train or something along the route," Stephens said.

Stephens says right now they rely on drivers to share that information with the department.

"If folks don't have faith that they can rely on public transit for getting them to work or whatever often they choose not to use it," Stephens said.

In addition to an app, software will also help people with visual disabilities. The system will call out what stops are next. It will count riders too and what stops they are getting on and off at.

"It's going to provide us with data that we can make important decisions about the transit system," Stephens said.

Stephens says the new app and software are critical to keep the transit department moving in the right direction, bringing more riders on board.

The full commission could approve the money next week.

If they do, the software would be in place in the next four months.

If you do not own a smart phone, Stephens said they will look at applying for more grant money to install electronic signs at bus shelters to tell you when your bus will arrive.