Articles

Durham N.C., Launches Uber-Integrated Public Transit App

Transloc Rider will integrate Uber ridesharing, public transit and even walking to offer several options with both prices and travel times.

by Alex Dixon, The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C. / March 4, 2016

(TNS) -- Local transportation technology company Transloc launched its Uber-integrated app Thursday, in an effort to incorporate multiple modes of transportation in a user’s commute.

The app, called Transloc Rider, addresses what Transloc director of strategy and partnerships Josh Cohen calls the “first-mile, last-mile challenge:” when an individual wants to take public transit but doesn’t have a preferred way to get to their final destination after getting off the bus or train.

App users select a destination, and Transloc Rider will integrate Uber ridesharing, public transit and even walking to offer several options with both prices and travel times.

“We’re doing it in a way that provides a great experience for the rider,” Cohen said. “Just input your destination and get the best transit route from point A to point B to get you to and from that transit stop, especially in areas that don’t have access to transit currently.”

Cohen said Transloc is leveraging Uber’s strengths of a large user base and convenience with public transit’s strength of moving larger groups of people for the app. And through the app’s partnership with GoTriangle, Transloc estimates that the area’s public transit ridership could increase by as much as 300 percent.

“So this isn’t just great for transit riders, it’s also great for our community,” Cohen said. “Everytime we get somebody on transit we’re going to reduce congestion on our roads and reduce pollution in the air.”

The app will launch in Memphis, Tenn., later this month, and more cities throughout the year. Cohen said Transloc plans to integrate other forms of transportation, also, including biking.

“The goal is to make it as seamless as possible,” Cohen said. “It’s what the future of our cities will look like: multimodal trips.”

While the app is still in beta testing with Triangle residents, Durham Bulls mascot Wool E. Bull was the first official user of the new Transloc Rider, catching an Uber ride from DBAP Thursday morning to Durham Station, where he then rode a GoTriangle bus back to American Tobacco Campus.

Mayor Bill Bell said at the launch that Transloc Rider is an example of the first step in what could be a phase of technology that allows for all travel plans to be integrated into one application.

“Eventually, we hope that you’ll be able to do (everything) all on one app...get your travel plans together, get Uber, get your tickets paid for and get to the end of the line where you’re going,” he said. “This is the first step, and we’re very proud of it and we know it’s going to be a success.”

Users interested in signing up to test the app can find information here: hub.transloc.com/uber/

©2016 The Herald-Sun (Durham, N.C.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.