Danville will launch new transit projects, including a new mobile app to book bus rides
Changes are coming to Danville’s transit system to make it more efficient and customer-friendly.
A new mobile app for booking bus journeys and more than 300 new signs with QR codes at city bus stops allowing riders to track their buses are planned and expected to be available in January, said Marc Adelman, director of Danville transportation.
Another project includes renovating the interior of the Danville Transfer Center on Spring Street downtown.
In addition to the app, a new software system will allow users to make a bus reservation on their desktop computer and have it automatically scheduled in the online system.
The changes are a way to improve the city’s transportation services for its users, Adelman said during an interview at Danville Regional Airport on Thursday morning.
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“We want to provide the best possible service to our customers,” he said. “We want our customers to be able to use the system as easily as possible.”
Users will download the app, called Mobility by ECOLANE, to their Android or iPhone devices.
Under the “trips” tab of the mobile app, there will be three tabs: Upcoming Trips, Past Trips, and Canceled Trips.
The upcoming trips tab allows customers to see details of future trips, including pick-up time, pick-up location, drop-off location and return trips, Adelman said during an interview. a presentation to Danville City Council during its work session on Tuesday evening.
Customers with scheduled rides will receive a text notification letting them know the driver is on the way, Adelman said.
“They’ll get a text when the bus is on its way to pick them up, five minutes away,” Adelman told the Danville Register & Bee.
A bus number and estimated arrival time will be provided, and customers can tap a vehicle icon in the app to open a map and see the location of the assigned vehicle, Adelman said.
The software system costs about $277,000, but the city will only pay 4% ($11,080) of the project price, with state and federal grants paying the rest, Adelman said. The grants also cover license fees for the first three years.
Additionally, the city will install new interactive signs at its 317 bus stops allowing passengers to receive text messages identifying the estimated arrival times of buses that will serve a particular location, Adelman said.
“Passengers will be able to scan a QR code that will take them to the transit system’s bus locator system so they can see where their bus is in real time,” he said.
City transportation staff will begin installing the signs next week, and all should be in place by early next year, Adelman said.
The signs cost $20,000, with the city costing just 4%, or $785, he said. State and federal grants will pay the rest.
In addition, the city is adding two more fixed-route bus service schedules to its schedule for the Westover Drive bus stop location and Goodwill Industries.
Another project includes renovating the interior of the Danville Transfer Center on Spring Street.
Work at the center will include renovating the old Greyhound counter, with the construction of a new wall to support what will be a new 85-inch monitor. The big screen will show the weather channel or a message board, he said.
The project will also involve revamping the floor of the supervisor’s office and installing a new bathroom for employees, Adelman said.
The renovation of the approximately 1,500 square foot center will cost approximately $99,000, 4% of which is covered by city and state and federal grants for the remainder of the tab.
The project should be completed in the spring.