Popular iOS transportation planning app Transit has announced a major new feature in the form of “multimodal” trip support that will allow users to combine public transit and ride-sharing services into single trip itineraries, all in one app. Although transportation apps such as Transit and Google Maps have offered support for services such as Uber for quite some time, ride-sharing services have traditionally been presented as alternatives to taking public transit, rather than allowing users to mix and match then with other transportation types. Transit’s new feature, dubbed Transit+, is a “transit-oriented ridehailing” service that will allow users to plan trips that include a combination of services such as Uber, Lyft, Via, Ola, and Téo, along with local and regional public transit services, feeding rides from these services onto buses and trains.
Further, Transit+ isn’t just about allowing users to choose to use ridehail services as an alternative, but is actually designed to provide recommendations on the most efficient trip, so even in situations where a bus might easily take you to a nearby rail station, transit will let you know if an alternative route if a specific ride-hailing provider like Uber or Lyft can get you there faster, and Transit notes that in many cases, contrary to a common misconception, a combination of ridehail and transit services can actually provide for a faster trip, particularly in congested downtown areas where rail services are frequently much more efficient. The app will also handle the necessary bookings and payments for a seamless travel experience, saving users the hassle of juggling different apps, and Transit has also announced that it is working with transit carriers in various cities to integrate fare payments into the app, with an initial rollout already underway in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. The Transit+ service is rolling out in beta with support for ridehail with rail services in all cities, and ridehail with bus services rolling out initially in Kansas City, Silicon Valley, Boston, Detroit, Nashville, Columbus, Cleveland, St. Petersburg, St. Louis, Dayton, Albany, and Las Vegas.