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Published October 02, 2013, 07:47 PM

Bus schedules go mobile in Grand Forks, East Grand Forks

Bus schedules for Cities Area Transit in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks just got a lot handier. A new phone and web application debuted earlier this summer that allows patrons to view bus routes and departure times instantly.

By: Brandi Jewett, Grand Forks Herald

Bus schedules for Cities Area Transit in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks just got a lot handier.

A new phone and web application debuted earlier this summer that allows patrons to view bus routes and departure times instantly.

The app is called RouteShout, and CAT Mobility Manager Ali Rood said it will make riding public transit easier for regular and new riders.

“Say one morning you discover your car doesn’t start or it’s raining and you don’t want to walk somewhere,” she said, adding someone in this situation may not have a paper map handy. “RouteShout lets you figure out the bus schedule on the fly.”

Both versions of the app are available now but will see updates when the agency’s route and system changes roll out later this fall.

RouteShout can be downloaded from the Apple and Android app stores or accessed on the web at m.routeshout.com.

How it works

Riders using the app have the entire bus system at their fingertips.

Once the app is downloaded, riders can use the “Locate Me” function to find their location within Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. They also can type in their address.

After their location is put into the app, a list of stops appears for browsing. The stops are listed in order of shortest distance from the person’s location, according to Rood.

Selecting a stop will display which bus routes will be departing from the location and when. A list of stops along the route is available for users after they select the bus route they want.

Shuttle routes on the UND campus also are included in the app. Students represent a significant portion of riders, according to Rood.

Detours and other route delays aren’t immediately reflected in the software. Until that can be accomplished, Rood advises riders to keep an eye out for announcements from the cities and UND about detours or other route delays.

Once the agency becomes more proficient with the technology, Rood said it will be able to use GPS systems to give riders real-time estimates of when buses will be pulling up to stops.

New changes

The launch of RouteShout coincides with other changes set for the transit system this year.

Instead of a wave-down system where riders can flag down a bus from any safe corner along a route, buses will only pick up riders at designated stops.

That change will help keep buses running on time, according to Rood.

The agency expects to have the route changes and new bus signs for each stop ready to go by mid-November.

Several weeks before the switch, a public awareness campaign alerting riders to the new stops and system will begin.

“We’re not going to tell people on a Friday that we’re changing things on a Monday,” Rood said.

Any questions about the changes can be directed to Cities Area Transit at (701) 746-2600.

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