Free TransLoc Rider App Provides Passengers with Up-to-the-Second Information on Bus Location and Arrival Time
County Also Developing Mobile Ticketing Payment Option and Updated Bus Schedules
County Executive and Stony Brook University Highlight Successful “Wolf Ride" Bike Share System, Discuss Future of Bike Share in Suffolk County
Photos from Fifth Annual Car Free Day Long Island Event Available Here
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone today announced that residents can download a free mobile application, TransLoc Rider, that will provide reliable real time updates on bus locations and estimated arrival time, significantly improving the overall user experience for Suffolk County Transit passengers. This new technology will continue the modernization of Suffolk County Transit and should encourage ridership, reduce carbon emissions and lower the amount of single-occupancy vehicles on the road.
Additionally, the County Executive announced an interactive webpage version of the application, sct.transloc.com, extending this game-changing transportation resource to residents without access to a smartphone. A text version is also provided with stop specific features that provide route specific bus predictions using unique stop IDs. The County is utilizing current running time data from its recently installed AVL system to draft new schedules for the 45 routes that operate countywide. These new schedules will be more reflective of the all-day travel patterns of our customers.
“Twenty years ago, the idea of having an interactive bus schedule in the palm of your hand that could provide you with real-time updates on arrivals and departures was nearly unfathomable,” said County Executive Bellone. “By embracing new technological advancements and understanding the needs of our residents, Suffolk County has changed the game when it comes to transportation innovation.”
Cathy Calhoun, Acting Commissioner of New York State Department of Transportation, said: “NYSDOT is proud to partner with Suffolk County to include their transit information in our 511NY application. Earlier this year, New York State sponsored Green Your Commute Day where thousands of New Yorkers carpooled, utilized mass transit, or biked and walked to work. Initiatives like Car Free Long Island help ease traffic on Long Island, while saving fuel and promoting healthy lifestyles.”
Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming said: “I'm delighted to have been able to pull together bus operators, bus drivers, bus riders and members of the county staff as well as legislators to talk about how we can realistically arrive at an adequate public transportation plan that truly meets the needs of the public. I am happy to learn that the app, which has been a long time coming, will be online in the near future. I believe it's an important part of making sure that the system truly serve the needs of the public.”
Nick Palumbo, Executive Director of Sustainability Programs, Suffolk County Community College, said: "Suffolk County Community College is very appreciative for the efforts of the County to improve our regional transportation options. New initiatives like the transit app, and the proposed bikeshare program will not only reduce environmental impacts, but also assist our students achieving their academic pursuits by adding flexibility and reducing costs. We are pleased to be part of Car Free Day which focuses attention on these issues."
“If the Stony Brook University “Wolf Ride’ bike share program is any indication, this will be a winning initiative for the people of Suffolk County,” said Stony Brook University President, Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “Since officially launching in the spring of 2013, Stony Brook University has been providing our students, faculty and staff with a sustainable and healthy transportation alternative that is effectively reducing our carbon footprint; it has grown in popularity and usage over time and I suspect the residents of our region will respond to the County's program with similar enthusiasm."
Suffolk County is also exploring the feasibility of additional fare payment methods to supplement the cash payments that are currently accepted. The aim is to allow customers to pay their fares using their handheld on the fareboxes recently installed on all buses. These improvements should continue to propel the system into the 21st Century and make Suffolk County Transit a more desirable alternative to the car.
In the next several months, Suffolk County will be announcing an updated bus schedule to ensure ridership has access to the most utilized stops and enhanced service.
Through the County Executive’s Connect Long Island plan, Suffolk County has sought to align its transportation planning with development initiatives that promote sustainable long-term economic growth in Suffolk County. A major component of this includes modernizing the existing bus fleet become a 21st century transportation network. Through the app, the county and its partners will now be able to provide bus arrival predictions in real-time providing an enhanced service for riders that respects their time, needs and expectations.
The app, which is downloadable from the Google Play or App Store under “TransLoc Rider,” has proven successful with over 170 installations nation-wide and has been customized specifically to meet the needs of Suffolk residents across our various transportation subsystems. Complimenting the innovative TransLoc Rider app will also be the Traveler app that will provide the County additional planning tools to improve and reconfigure services thus meeting traveler needs in a way not previously seen in Suffolk County. The app was created by TransLoc, a small software company with experience creating bus tracking applications for municipalities, universities, and large bus fleet providers nationwide including Disney World, GoTrangle, Pace Bus in suburban Chicago, NYU, Pace University, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Suffolk County residents can download the app from the Google Play Store under “TransLoc Rider” or by going to Suffolk County Executive Bellone’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stevenbellone.
Through the app, customers will have a visual mapping of busses in the palm of their hand enabling real time tracking including state of the art next bus predications. Residents will also be able to set a favorite route, personalizing and streamlining the user interface upon start-up. Users will also be able to sign up to receive alerts for when a bus is within five, ten, or fifteen minutes of a stop for maximum user efficiency. This investment allows for the tracking of buses countywide and arrival time predictions at the more than 3,000 stops SCT serves.
As part of this announcement, the County Executive and Stony Brook University Officials also touted the successes of the University’s ‘Wolf Ride’bike-share program, the only public operating bike share program in Suffolk County. Wolf Ride provides students, faculty, staff and visitors with a sustainable, healthy transportation alternative. Operated by the University's Office of Sustainability, Wolf Ride is a ‘per ride’ bicycle sharing system that provides users with the ability to travel from one University location to another using a zero emissions form of transportation. County Executive Bellone recently announced the beginning process to establish a regional bike-share program. Since then, the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning has issued a Request for Information to gather best practices, cost estimates and keys on how to implement and operate such a program.
The County’s proposed bike share program similarly complements the County Executive’s Connect Long Island plan by promoting development around transit nodes, investments in enhancements to existing mass transit infrastructure, and furthering ‘last mile’ connection options between transit hubs, regional assets, and local downtowns.
In support of Car Free Day, County Executive Bellone encouraged all County employees to arrange for alternative means of transportation, including carpooling, use of public transit and bicycling to work on Friday. Last year, over 4,100 Long Islanders pledged to be car free, or "car-lite” -- an increase of almost 40 percent over 2015, which resulted in the avoidance of 84,000 miles of driving and 42 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.