Previously, it was necessary to look up separate bus schedules and take the time to plot routes. With Centro’s new trip planner, however, the system does the work for you. This program “allows people to type in a destination and the program will find the best available route. It saves people from reading and plotting transfers,” said Steve Koegel, Centro Communications Manager.
The trip planner has been available to the public for about a month. It was created to provide a simple means of making use of the public transportation system. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while,” noted Koegel. “People want information instantaneously, and this is the way we can provide it. It simplifies the whole process of what bus you need to get from one place to another.”
To plot a trip, follow the instructions at the top of the Web page to complete the four-step process. Information such as starting location, ending location, date and time of departure and arrival are put into the system. Users have the option of sorting the trip planner results by trip time, walking distance or number of transfers. “It really doesn’t involve more than inputting an address or landmark from where you are to where you want to go and it spits out the answer,” said Koegel.
The program was developed with software that Centro already uses. “It’s similar to MapQuest for buses, which is really the best comparison I can give,” explained Koegel. Centro recently held an event at Jobs Plus to introduce the trip planner to those who work with clients to place them in jobs. There will be similar information sessions in the future, although none are currently scheduled. Centro is willing to work with any organization that would like instruction on how to use the trip planner. Call them at 442-3400.
Since the planner is still in its early stages, Centro welcomes feedback from users and will take any suggestions into consideration. The Info-Web Feedback option under the Contact tab allows you to post comments. The trip planner may be found at www.centro.org. Click on the Trip Planner tab to the left.