There’s a statistic that plagues public transit agencies—it’s the fact that not even a third of people live within a quarter mile’s walk of a bus stop.
January 11, 2016
RTP’s TransLoc Lands First-of-its-Kind App Integration With Uber To Improve Mass Transit
An Uber partnership will bring ride-hailing into GoTriangle's bus tracking app starting in February, positioning TransLoc for big potentially global growth.
And because it’s much easier to hop in a car, they choose to do that versus take advantage of a public service we pay taxes for as citizens.
An RTP startup called TransLoc has spent the last 11 years developing technology and apps to eliminate barriers to people riding the bus. It’s lined up more than 135 transit agencies around the nation as customers, and now serves millions of U.S. citizens through its real time bus-tracking app called Rider. But even with its progress so far, there’s still little TransLoc can do about the location of stops.
Starting in February, bus riders in Raleigh-Durham and Memphis will be able to create and optimize a route in TransLoc that includes the bus, walking and Uber. It’s the first time Uber has fully integrated with a third party app, meaning riders can book and pay for an Uber ride at the same time as they plan a route on the bus or on foot, and without leaving Rider.
It’s a partnership that could elevate bootstrapped TransLoc into the upper echelons of transportation tech innovation just three years after a management shakeup and company restructuring. But more importantly, it helps to fulfill a vision cast by CEO Doug Kaufman to build technology that takes mass transit “from last resort for some to first choice for all.”
Some of that work is still ongoing as the partners prepare for the mid-February launch with the two more progressive TransLoc customers (GoTriangle and MATA in Memphis). The pair are calling the initial rollout a pilot and though TransLoc has no exclusive rights to the API and technology, initial conversations lead Kaufman to believe the relationship will expand over time.
And that could also lead to the big scale-up the company has been preparing for since a leadership changes in 2012 and the technology building, customer acquiring and hiring sprees that have followed.
Says TransLoc marketing director Jennifer Gardner, “Uber and TransLoc are aligning around a new way of thinking about mobility—that there should be more than one way to get from point A to point B.”