When I was a college student, taking the bus often meant uncertainty and stress. I knew when my bus was supposed to arrive, but sometimes it ran behind schedule for reasons unknown to me. I’d sit in the cold, craning my neck to see if it was coming down the road while wondering if I would be late for class or to meet friends.

Fast forward to today when a new technology is putting control in the palm of the transit passenger. Transloc Rider—a free app that you can download from triangle.transloc.com, the Apple store or GooglePlay—lets you locate the bus stop and routes closest to you. You can then click on your stop to see your bus arrival time and even view your bus as it moves in real time.

How TransLoc Works

After downloading the app, go to your phone’s settings and enable “location.” After you launch the app for the first time, a map with bus routes serving your current location will appear. Tap on a stop to see the closest stop ID, and you’ll see a list of routes that service the stop and anticipated bus arrival times. You can also set favorites or alerts by tapping the heart or bell icons. Riders get real-time information on bus location because our buses are equipped with GPS locators.

Those who prefer not to download the app can go to the TransLoc website to find the nearest bus stop, routes and arrival times and watch buses in real time.

Why It’s Catching On

The benefits of using the app are spreading. In the past week, a high school student in Durham and a French college student who had just arrived at NC State in Raleigh told me that they use TransLoc.

We also asked our @GoTriangle Twitter followers what is their favorite feature of the app.  Pierre Tong said it’s “being able to track the location of the bus so I don't have to be at the bus stop longer than I need to be."

Time saved allows us moments for new, enriching experiences. The benefit of technology is its ability to help us do more of the things we love and less of those things we dislike. So now we can eat, sleep, play or create more, and get out to our bus stop just 5 to 10 minutes before the bus arrives.

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