In effort to rebrand, LATS debuts mobile app

Livingston Area Transit Service, now rebranded as Rochester Transit Service Livingston recently debuted an application that aims to help Geneseo students travel within the community with greater ease. The app is available in the App Store and the Google Play Store, titled “RTS Geneseo.” Transportation around Geneseo is a topic that pervades student body discussions, whether it’s regarding the hills or the distance between campus and Wegmans. The college answered by contracting a bus system that could accommodate everyone’s needs.

However, the obscure bus schedule and routes can make it difficult for students to plan, and often students miss the bus entirely.

Bonnie Maguire is the director of business development for RTS, and she was in Geneseo on Tuesday Sept. 23 to discuss the new app with students.

“The app is something that gives students the ability to stand inside a building during winter, see where the bus is on the app’s map and to determine their next move,” Maguire said. “And it determines in real time when the next arrival is, because of all the GPS that now connects the buses to the system.”

The app includes six functions: Where’s My Bus, Nearest Stop, Plan My Trip, Service Alerts, Information and Favorites. Each function is easy to use and understand, and updates in real time, giving students instant access.

RTS initially launched its mobile program at the Rochester Institute of Technology with a trail that started in February. After receiving positive feedback, they improved on the app and launched it in full last spring. For RTS, coming to Geneseo only made sense.

“This was the next logical step, as part of our ongoing relationship and partnership with the college,” Maguire said. “We just renewed our contract for another three years.”

The app not only benefits students, but also all of Livingston County.

“All the other local bus routes are included as well, so if you live anywhere in Livingston County, this app can benefit you,” she said.

RTS saw an increase in use for the bus system at RIT, but the increasing popularity of the app hasn’t caused any problems for students and riders.

“We didn’t have problems where we exceeded capacity,” Maguire said. “We found that, actually, the students liked it because they could plan better, so that usage was spread out over the day as opposed to all the students going at the well known times the buses would arrive.”

However, there is no question that during Geneseo winters the RTS bus system will see major increases in usage, compounded by the release of the app. RTS feels confident that it is capable of handling any issues regarding overpopulation of the routes.

“If we have times where the bus exceeds capacity, it is very easy for us to dispatch another bus to alleviate the stress of the current time and route, as we have a bus garage no more than 10 minutes from here,” Maguire said. “So that makes it really easy.”

RTS will be opening a comment line for feedback from students so that they may continue to build upon and improve its app.

RTS worked with the Richmond, Virginia-based app development company V4 for both the RIT bus lines and the Geneseo bus lines.

“Their knowledge and experience with these kinds of apps really helped to make them as successful as they’ve been, and their critiques, along with students critiques, allow us to deliver a product students want and need,” Maguire said.