TransLink Trials New Multimodal App to Streamline Vancouver’s Public Transit

TransLink – Vancouver, Canada’s public transit operator – is currently testing the use of a new multimodal transit app. The app incorporates carshare and bikeshare services, along with information on buses and trains. Its goal is to eliminate the need for several different apps to provide an easy and efficient multimodal experience. The project is funded from a CAD$250,000 (~US$184,000) grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities through the Green Municipal Fund.

Data from TransLink’s 2019 Shared Mobility Pilot showed that people are more likely to choose multimodal travel when booking and payment options are simplified. In that pilot project, users received a contactless Compass Card that worked across public transport, bikeshare and carshare services, with one integrated billing account. 60% of participants said they had reduced personal vehicle use, and 56% said they had tried a new mode of transportation because of the card.

For this pilot, the app – called RideLink – will be available to a limited number of people during the trial period. TransLink is accepting applications for 1,300 people to test the new app, and requires applicants to be at least 19 years old, have a valid driver’s license, a valid credit card, and a smartphone. Feedback will be collected from participants over a one-year period on the usability and ease of integration between the services.

The operator is working alongside mobility firms Modo, Evo, and Rogers to provide trip planning across multiple modes, as well as the ability to access real-time information about vehicle and bike locations with simple booking and payment methods.

“People will consider multimodal transportation much more often if they can use one single app to plan, book and pay for their travel throughout the city, instead of needing to consult with several different apps to figure out where to sign up for a bike or find a carshare that connects to the transit system,” said TransLink CEO, Kevin Quinn. “This is the first step in creating a truly seamless multimodal experience and decreasing reliance on car ownership.”