New application streamlines public transportation on JBSA
Story by Amn Shelby Pruitt on 07/24/2019
After being implemented at Joint Base San Antonio in November, the “Find My Ride” app, now called “Ride Systems,” has had great success providing shuttle customers exceptional service.
With just under 1,000 users, and growing each month, the app has created a platform for JBSA shuttle customers to ride the bus with confidence.
“The app truly showcases the transformative power that can be created by small group innovation,” said Lt. Col. Ernest Cage, 502d Logistics Readiness Squadron commander. “Three ground transportation Airmen with a good idea, less than a year ago, have literally changed the lives of over 1 million JBSA shuttle bus passengers a year by giving them back something that is priceless – time.”
The app includes Global Positioning System tracking capabilities with mapping and coordination with the ground transportation offices to track exactly where each bus is, their route and how long the wait time is. This allows the JBSA community and visitors to stay in shelter during harsh weather without worry, plan schedules accordingly using exact arrival times and have a sense of accountably for the shuttles.
“A lot of people used to look at the shuttles and think I don’t want to wait and I don’t know when it’s coming’. This app gives them the ability to see routes and exactly where the bus is on the route at the touch of a finger, giving them a little bit of control over their timing,” said Todd Deane, JBSA ground transportation manager. “Especially with the construction and traffic when you’re off base, bus arrival times can vary from day to day but now the riders have a much better gauge of when the bus will be at the stop.”
In addition to helping the JBSA shuttle customers, the app actually provides important information to the bus drivers and the ground transportation offices. It records the exact time of arrival at each bus stop, which delivers data that each shuttle is making the stops on time.
“We are now looking to add a Quick Response Code, or QR code, to allow easy access in downloading the app. The goal is to attach posters with the QR code at each bus stop.” said Tech. Sgt. Cody Dalton, 502d LRS NCO in charge of contracting officer representatives.
An update for the future could be integrating software that count passengers on each bus and which stops are most frequently used. “We count how many passengers ride the bus and where they are getting off to readjust shuttles with the base to make sure it’s lining up and being used where it’s needed,” said Master Sgt. Justin Hartley, JBSA ground transportation support supervisor.
Information on the app and how to download is also included in the welcome packets for Basic Military Training families.
“Our goal is to make it possible for families to line up the transportation services we provide so they can virtually come to JBSA without spending any money on transportation, besides the plane ticket.” joked Hartley.
“The next big step will be working to link the app into the BMT family app for accessibility,” Deane said.
Although the contracted company maintains the app, it is the ground transportation office’s job to monitor for any deficiencies.
“We monitor it for glitches or defects, then up channel it to the company,” explained Hartley.
“The program has been successful so far and the numbers show that, but based on the initial success of the program, we have secured funding for the second year for the program,” Deane proudly said.
“For the first time in my Air Force career we are empowering our Airmen to think big and outside the box. Better yet, we are providing the funding to bring the most promising ideas to life.” said Cage. “Ride Systems’ is just one example of how our Airmen are changing the game as the Air Force works to rapidly implement new ideas to ensure continued dominance around the globe. I can’t wait to see what ideas the team will come up with next.”
To install the app,
1.Download “Ride Systems” from your Google Play or Apple Store
2.Allow the app to access your location
3.Search for “Lackland AFB” or “Fort Sam Houston” as the transit agency
4.Enter the password provided by any JBSA bus driver or by calling dispatch at (210) 671-3317
5.Choose your route and ride!
If you experience any problems with the service or have questions contact the Contracting Officer Representative office at 210-671-0069/9898.
Editor’s Note: Remember, Active duty, DoD civilians, retirees/dependents (ID card holders), guests invited by the installation commander which includes BMT families and contractors with on-base access are authorized to ride on the base shuttles.