TriMet is seeking rider feedback on a new trip planner that could make it easier for people to get around the region.
The updated version of the agency's online trip planner allows people to plan trips with connections between public transit, ride-sharing services, bike rentals and walking.
And yes, there is an app for it.
The current trip planner already allows people to figure out where transit connects to bike trails and walking routes, but the new planner adds services such as Uber, Biketown and Share Now, formerly Cars2go.
You can try it out and let TriMet know what you think here.
"By partnering with private companies, TriMet makes it easier for people to get to work, school, appointments or any place they need to go in the Portland metro area," said Bibiana McHugh, TriMet's Manager of Mobility & Location-Based Services. "The new trip planner will help our customers make informed decisions about their travel options, including the first and last parts of their trips where a bus or train alone doesn't provide full access."
If the trip includes Uber, the new planner links to the Uber app so that connection can be easily booked and paid for. The same is true for Biketown and Share Now. In the future, TriMet hopes to make it even easier by combining the planning, booking and paying for all services in the trip planner.
"We believe that ridesharing and transit go hand-in-hand, which is why we're honored to be a part of TriMet's new trip planner," said Uber spokesperson Nathan Hambley. "It will allow riders to more seamlessly integrate and plan end-to-end multimodal trips."
Share Now Portland's General Manager Ken Hills also supports the plan, saying mobility options shouldn't exist in a vacuum.
"Partnerships like TriMet's multimodal trip planner give commuters the ability to choose and combine modes of transportation that work best for their trip," he said. "We strongly believe these collaborations between public and private providers can open up useful new possibilities for people navigating the city. Share Now is proud to work with other mobility services to move Portland — one trip at a time."
Biketown Market Manager Dorothy Mitchell said the new app will move the Portland area forward.
"We believe that this expanded, multi-modal tool will show more and more Portland residents just how convenient, quick, and affordable bike share can be," she said, "and by encouraging the use of more sustainable modes of transportation, we all win,"
TriMet began work on the new trip planner in 2017, after it was awarded a $678,000 grant by the Federal Transit Administration. The FTA's MOD Sandbox Program is designed to facilitate local projects that demonstrate innovative tools and approaches.
According to TriMet, the new trip planner can be easily replicated by transit agencies in other cities, because it uses open source technology and open data, which can be adjusted. TriMet can benefit from improvements other agencies make and incorporate them into its own trip planner, the agency said.
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