TransLōc was founded in 2004 to empower mass transit with the best possible technology. This mission gripped TransLōc founder and CEO Josh Whiton after he realized two things: First, that riding mass transit was plagued with uncertainty – Where is the bus? What routes are running? Where will the bus take me? No wonder most people chose to drive their own car instead. The second thing he realized was that this uncertainty was entirely unnecessary – technology could transform the mass transit experience, both for the rider and for those challenged with operating a transit agency.
“It seemed like the best technology of the day was being applied everywhere else, like internet search and video games. As a technologist and a mass transit rider, I couldn’t let go of the idea that mass transit deserved great technology too.”
One year later, Josh and the team he built had gone far toward accomplishing this goal. They built an interactive transit map that pushed the boundaries of web-technology. To sparse street maps they added buildings and landmarks that riders could easily recognize. They pioneered the concept of interleaving routes so that riders could intuitively see whenever more than one route went down the same road. And they redefined what “real-time” meant by pushing the limits of vehicle tracking till the buses could be seen smoothly moving (literally second-by-second) on the online map. It was the first time in the world that a fleet of moving vehicles could be seen moving smoothly and in real-time on computer screens.
“Back then, other companies were touting real-time passenger information even though they’d only update a bus’ location every half-minute or minute. We told people, ‘Well if that’s real-time, then ours is 30 to 60 times more real.’”
TransLōc was also a pioneer of the mobile web (before apps) and was the first to enable mobile phones (before smartphones) to show real-time info that was both textual and graphical. But TransLōc also knows that regardless of past successes innovation must continue.
“As the technology gets better customer expectations also increase. When we started TransLōc, we came out of the gate with so many innovations that it made some transit administrators nervous. They worried that providing such a comprehensive view of the transit system to the public could prove problematic. Today, transit agencies around the globe agree that keeping riders informed with real-time information is one of the best ways to deliver a transit system that works well and is appreciated. It also used to be that riders were completely surprised to get access to this technology. Now they demand it.”
Empowering mass transit with the best technology is a job that is never done. Technological barriers continue to fall making new things possible every day. This is why TransLōc is constantly improving their interactive maps, iPhone and Android apps, fleet management reports, arrival predictions, passenger information kiosks, and more.
Making mass transit better is important and meaningful work. And the people behind TransLōc continue to find the act of pioneering great technology exhilarating.
It’s good for business too, which is why over TransLōc’s 9-year history they have maintained 100% customer retention. That’s right — 100% of agencies that have tried TransLōc are still happy customers today.
Find out why for yourself.