A new metro Atlanta transit agency is working to create an app that residents can use to plan and pay for public transit trips across the entire region, even if that involves using disparate transit agencies.
(TNS) — Using public transportation to travel across county lines can be a challenge in metro Atlanta. There are multiple transit agencies with different schedules, different web sites, different apps and different payment systems. There’s been some simplification in recent years. But for many trips it’s still not simple.
A new metro Atlanta transit agency hopes to change that. The Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority has applied for a federal grant to develop a single phone app that would let customers plan and pay for trips across the region.
The authority – which recently completed a regional transit plan – should hear in coming weeks whether it gets the federal grant. If it does, customers could have a new app in hand in a year.
On Thursday the agency’s technology committee heard about some of the features the app could include. Among them:
Many of the details are yet to be worked out. Among them: Whether the agency would develop the app itself or allow a private firm to provide the service.
First, it’s addressing thorny challenges like standardizing route data among numerous agencies. That includes hashing out details as mundane as whether the agencies spell out “road” or abbreviate it.
Developing the app is just one way the authority hopes to fashion a seamless public transportation system out of the alphabet soup of transit services. Other challenges include standardizing fare structures and better coordinating transit routes. Such changes could take years.
In the meantime, agency officials say a single app could make navigating the current system easier.
Look for news on the federal grant later this month.
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