A new smartphone app for the Summit Stage bus system is sure to please any city-monger accustomed to accessing schedules and updates with the touch of a button – even those with old-school flip phones or Nokia bricks can get real-time updates via SMS.
Smartphone users who download the app will have each route at their fingertips along with the bus’s current location (much like Uber’s smartphone app that allows you to watch your private driver approach). Users can also use the app to find which bus stop is the closest and will arrive the quickest.
The app, which launched on May 9th has already received incredible praise. One local who relies on the bus system to get around said: “Suddenly taking the bus has become even more dependable than it was, which I honestly didn’t think was possible… All I have to do is open the app and see exactly where the bus is and when it will arrive for me.”
Information collected from the app will also provide the county with important information to improve the system’s efficiency, including passenger numbers, peak times of demand, and route efficiency.
This technology will also automatically alert dispatch if a bus is filling up and another is needed on the same route to meet demand. Until now, Summit Stage depended on its drivers to manually count passengers and then call in for back-up when needed.
Thad Noll, assistant county manager, said the app’s capabilities will continue to expand, including optional automatic updates to alert passengers when a bus is running late or if construction / weather conditions are impacting normal services.
Each bus will be upgraded this summer and equipped with a digital screen to display upcoming stops and audio announcements for current and next stops. This is perhaps the greatest upgrade to customer experience and it will undoubtedly reduce angst from visitors who are unfamiliar with routes and the “pull cord to request stop” system.
Silverthorne, Frisco, and Breckenridge’s busiest stops will also be upgraded this summer to include digital information about the stop and status of the bus’s arrival time.
Commissioners are hoping these user-friendly upgrades will attract new riders who may have been reluctant to use the system before. There is conversation about including the Breck Free Ride information on the same app, but that is to be seen.
To check out the new smartphone app search for the “summit stage smartbus” on your smartphone’s app store or click: http://summitstage.doublemap.com