6/4/2014

Ohio Tests Phone App that Links Bus Lines

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Public transit users in Columbus, Ohio, are testing a free smartphone app and Web site service that helps them plan and make connections between the Central Ohio Transit Authority and the Ohio State University campus bus system.

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Public transit users in Columbus, Ohio, are testing a free smartphone app and Web site service that helps them plan and make connections between the Central Ohio Transit Authority and the Ohio State University campus bus system.

Connect and Ride enables users to review bus schedules for both systems, plan trips involving the two services and estimate walk times to and from connecting bus stops.

A key feature of C-Ride is "connect protection." It taps the ability to use a smart phone to track a rider's whereabouts and help ensure they make connections. The system will even hold a bus for one minute until the rider arrives.

The service was developed by Columbus-based research group Battelle Memorial Institute and is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. DOT says it will use the $1.5 million test, which runs through December, to determine whether to launch similar applications elsewhere.