Ready for a better tool to help you keep up with ART bus schedules? Here it comes, with the launch of the new Transit App available to Asheville transit riders.
The new app offers real-time information on bus arrivals and can even help map your bus ride to get you where you want to go. While the texting option is still available, smartphone users can download the Transit App for a smarter, quicker and more accessible information than NextBus.
Now, if you are standing at a stop waiting for the bus, you can either use the smartphone app to determine the arrival time of the bus, or send a text to get your arrival time.
For smartphones with GPS capability, the Transit app should provide geolocation features to allow riders to identify their location on a map. And the system continuously updates without the user being required to refresh the app or webpage. Users have ability to view only routes that are of interest to them.
Powered by Swiftly, the Transit App will not only work in Asheville but in other cities as well. It uses an open data source so all real-time information is automatically distributed to Google and other transit applications, making it easier to use.
“Our goals are to improve the overall transit rider experience by providing faster and more accurate information on bus arrival times. We are very excited about the new Transit App and think it will be a major improvement for ART riders,” said Transit Planning Manager Elias Mathes.
Four ways to track your bus
- Download the Transit App on your smartphone, via Apple or Android device.
- Text 41411, then enter NextArt followed by a space and your 3-digit bus stop ID number.
- Call 828-253-5691, then press 1 and follow the menu to find your bus.
- From a desktop computer visit live.goswift.ly/art.
More improvements coming
After a year of engagement with community partners, City Council adopted the new Transit Master Plan in July. The plan will bring more frequent bus service to Asheville riders, starting with the new fiscal year in July 2019. Specifically, riders can expect:
- Later evening service, with most routes running until 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and some routes running until midnight on main corridors. Sunday and holiday service will run until 8 p.m. on all routes.
- Greater service frequency, with the goal of 15-minute frequency on main corridors and 30-minute frequency on most routes.
- New crosstown and interlined routes will provide the option of single-seat rides through downtown, and will reduce the need to transfer between routes.
Five electric buses will be delivered to the ART fleet in the coming months. Those buses are expected to go into service in early 2019. Following this initial deployment the City plans to add three to five new electric buses to the fleet per year, converting ART to a more sustainable all-electric fleet over the next 10-12 years.
ART currently operates 17 vehicles in its peak fleet and serves primarily the City of Asheville with some service that extends to Black Mountain. Service is currently provided from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The main transfer station is downtown, at 49 Coxe Ave. Currently, no service is provided on Christmas or Thanksgiving.