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New app aids Davenport bus riders

A photo illustration of the TransLoc Rider app displayed on a smartphone. CityBus in Davenport started the use of the app on Monday, July, 31, 2017, while MetroLINK in Moline started using it back in March.

DAVENPORT -- A free app is now available for Davenport CitiBus passengers to track their rides on smartphones in real time.

TransLoc's Rider app, used by MetroLink since March, lets riders track bus locations and arrival times. People also can plan trips, receive notifications about route changes and report customer service issues.

"It makes the information very seamless," said Becky Passman, administrative and grants manager for CitiBus.

CitiBus made the app available Monday after about two months of work with TransLoc. Each bus is now outfitted with automatic vehicle location equipment to track its location.

Ms. Passman said the app has been on the CitiBus wishlist for a long time.

"It really takes us into the 21st century," she said. "It empowers riders and takes the guesswork out of things."

The app will let passengers access Davenport buses more conveniently, accurately and efficiently, Ms. Passman said.

"No more standing on the corner wondering, 'When is it coming?'" she said.

The greatest benefit of the app, she said, is both CitiBus and MetroLink now use it. This lets riders easily plan trips that span both the Illinois and Iowa Quad-Cities.

The app uses a smartphone's locator service to determine the closest bus stop. From there, it provides riders with an estimated time until arrival of each bus route that stops there. Riders also can also choose a different stop on the map to check its arrival times.

An "announcements" section warns riders of detours. Riders can add bus stops to their "favorites" list. The "trip planner" option shows riders the best route to a destination. Riders also can select which transit systems and bus routes they want to view.

TransLoc's Rider app is one of many recent changes to come to CitiBus, according to a news release from the city. Additionally, CitiBus has worked on route enhancements and introduced Smart Card, "which offers discounted fares and eliminates the need for having exact change when boarding the bus."

"A lot of things that have been planned for awhile are coming to fruition," Ms. Passman said.

Next for CitiBus will be the addition of five new buses to replace current ones "well beyond their expected life," according to Ms. Passman.

TransLoc's Rider app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play. There's also a map offering live location data for CitiBus at davenportcitibus.transloc.com.

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