In an effort to better serve passengers who use the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA)’s RIde Program, officials today announced the launch of a new mobile application and website that will tell passengers their pick-up times and how long they have to wait for their ride.
Provided in accordance the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the RIde Program is RIPTA’s paratransit service for people with disabilities. Its vans can be seen traveling throughout the state providing door-to-door trips for qualifying passengers. RIde transports about 1,500 passengers a day, taking them to work, doctor’s appointments, meal sites, adult daycare centers and more.
Currently, passengers have to call RIde Customer Service Agents to book a trip, cancel a trip, and get a window of time in which they will be picked up. Now, once they make their appointment by calling in, they will be able to use the new application to tell them when their ride will arrive.
The information, which uses GPS data from the RIde vans, gets more specific as the time of the passenger’s trip approaches. In addition, passengers can use the mobile application or website interface to cancel trips.
“We’re always listening to our customers and looking for ways to improve our service so we’re really excited about this for our passengers,” said Mark Therrien, Executive Director of RIde. ““Now passengers will be able to log on the day of their trip and get a good idea of when the van will pick them up.”
Therrien said that RIde staff has already had some passengers testing the software and the response has been enthusiastic.
“Government should move at the speed of business and a priority of my administration is to innovate within government to provide better customer service,” said Governor Raimondo. “I applaud RIPTA, Mayor Avedisian and Reveal Management Services for working together to enhance the public travel experience for Rhode Islanders with disabilities.”
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, Chairman of RIPTA’s Board of Directors, said that the launch of the new software for RIde passengers is part of the transit authority’s ongoing efforts to use technology in order to improve service to customers. “Over the past few years RIPTA has sought to streamline and strengthen our services to allow for better access through technology and we’re excited to provide this new application for our RIde passengers,” Avedisian said.
He noted that RIPTA continues to work on the implementation of software that will provide real-time travel information to passengers on all fixed routes and also that the transit agency will soon be introducing automated ticket vending machines in order to make it easier to buy tickets and passes.
The software for the RIde Program, which cost about $25,000, was developed for RIPTA by Reveal Management Services of Overland Park, Kansas. The company has done other work in the transportation industry, particularly in the area of paratransit, but said that this is their first mobile application for a service such as RIde.
How to Access the RIde Program Mobile Application
The “Rider Portal” application is available through the Google “Play Store” for passengers with smart phones that use the Android operating systems while people with Apple iPhones can access it through their phone’s web browser at https://m.revealportal.com/riders.
In order to access the new software, RIde passengers must go through a registration process, either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by calling customer service at 401-461-9760, and pressing option 4.
With more than 12,000 people registered with RIde, RIPTA is staggering the registration process in order to reduce call-in wait times and is using passengers’ last names to create a schedule.
Registration either by phone or email will be as follows, with 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. being the designated hours for people who are calling in.
For more information on RIPTA’s programs and services, please visit RIPTA.com.