Central Transit moves to new app, Transit

Jackson Sorensen, Staff Reporter

Central Transit is now similar to 200+ cities around the world. Central Transit is now on the app Transit. 

Betsy Dunbar, the transit manager for the City of Ellensburg, has been with the city for one year, but worked as the director of transportation at MedStar for over 12 years. She came to Ellensburg after she saw the job posting for a transit manager. 

“I saw the job posting and thought it was the perfect fit for me,” Dunbar said. “I am loving it too!”

Dunbar’s first project that she took on in this role was to see how the transportation system worked. She started the process off by riding the buses and talking to passengers. She noticed a common trend among the riders. 

“Passengers would say that it was sometimes hard to figure out when your bus was arriving,” Dunbar said.

The app plans out the entire itinerary for the user. Users will input a destination of where they want to go and the app will highlight what routes lead to that location and when they arrive at each bus stop. If the user has to walk to a bus stop, the app will notify the user when to start walking towards the bus stop. 

“The app will notify the passenger if there are any detours of changes to their route,” Dunbar said. “The app will even tell you to walk a little faster in order to make it to the bus stop.” 

Dunbar said that one of the most asked questions in the world of transportation is “where’s my bus?” Prior to Dunbar coming to Ellensburg, Dunbar had already known about Transit. She knew that it would be a great addition to Central Transit. 

“Each bus is equipped with a GPS tracker that updates the app every ten seconds,” Dunbar said. “This ensures that passengers will always know where their bus is, when it’ll arrive, and when they should start heading towards a bus stop.”

When Dunbar first approached this project, she said she looked at how Central Transit operated and how  she could make it better. She said she commended Central Transit for running smoothly and for being professional. 

“Central Transit was already performing great, but how can I fine-tune this and make it even better,” Dunbar said. “One of the things that I really felt could help was a mobile app. The Transit app specifically.”

Dunbar wanted to push this app into the mainstream because she heard from students that they wanted something easy. The students that rode the bus did not want to try and memorize bus books or remember times when certain busses will be at that location. She knew how user-friendly the app was and how easy it made tracking and scheduling a trip.

“The app is like your own personal robot. It plans your journey for you,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar’s next project will be to connect the Transit app to various bike paths and walking trails. 

“The Transit app takes the guesswork out of transportation,” Dunbar said. “You will always know where your bus is and when you should start heading to the bus stop. It’s really that simple.”

The app is free to download on the Apple and Google app stores.