BEND, OR -- Cascades East Transit, Central Oregon's regional bus service, has developed a mobile app to help riders know when and where they can catch the next bus. "It will also display its departure time at the closest bus stop. And, it can also be a trip planning app," says CET's Judy Watts.
She tells KBND News development of the app has been in the works for about a year, "We have asked our riders through on-board surveys and through the planning process, ‘What are some things that can make riding transit better and easier for you?’ And, an app has always bubbled up to the top of those priorities and needs." Watts admits transit companies in large cities already offer the technology, "It was a lot of hard work by our operations staff and equipping each and every one of our businesses with the right equipment so software could actually read where that bus physically was in real time. It took a lot of work; it wasn’t just like flipping a switch."
The free Transit App officially launches Thursday, coinciding with a new relationship between CET and the ride-sharing service Uber. "We just thought it would be a great win/win partnership and complimentary of transit service. We think of Uber as a friend and as another transportation option," says Watts.
On Friday, June 2, those who download the CET app can ride the bus for free by showing the app on their mobile device to the bus driver. Uber users can then get up to a $15 discount to get home from downtown Bend’s First Friday
events. Watts says, "Our service ends around 7:30 p.m. So, we know that if people are taking advantage of all the fun activities in Bend, that we would probably not be able to offer them a ride home because most people are hanging out past 7:30 p.m." Uber will provide discounts on each First Friday this summer, for rides originating in downtown Bend.