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City debuts real-time bus arrival app
Transit app
The free Transit mobile app offers many features to help residents get around the Turlock region, including quick access to accurate real-time transit information and live maps with vehicle locations (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

Turlock Transit riders can now know exactly where the bus they’re waiting for is at any given time, thanks to a new app.

The City of Turlock has partnered with Swiftly, Inc., a San Francisco-based company that creates data platforms for public transit and mobility services, to bring accurate, real-time transit arrival predictions to Turlock Transit. These improvements were initially deployed in summer 2019 for testing and evaluation, but are now fully functional and available for use.

“We’re proud to work with the City of Turlock to make their transit system more efficient, reliable, and seamless. This partnership will empower passengers with highly accurate real-time information and will enable the Turlock Transit staff to leverage big data for enhanced decision-making,” said Swiftly’s CEO Jonny Simkin.

As part of this project, new GPS trackers have been installed on all of Turlock Transit’s buses. Swiftly leverages this vehicle position information to accurately predict when the next bus will arrive. Anyone can now access up-to-the-moment bus arrival and position information for Turlock Transit right from their phone, via the Transit mobile app, SMS texting, phone service, or direct from the web.

“On an average day as many as 50 percent of the phone calls to the Turlock Transit call center are individuals at a bus stop asking ‘Where is my bus?’” said Wayne York, Transit Manager for the City of Turlock. “This information will now be at their fingertips. Not only is this more convenient for the rider, but it will improve the efficiency of our call center in managing transit operations. We’re excited to leverage this technology, along with our recently deployed mobile ticketing technology, to attract new riders and make using transit even easier.”

Turlock Transit’s official transit planning app is Transit. The free Transit mobile app offers many features to help residents get around the Turlock region, including quick access to accurate real-time transit information and live maps with vehicle locations. In addition, the Transit mobile app also contains a real-time trip planner to help users compare the travel time and price of a variety of transportation options, including walking, biking, transit, rideshare,and more. Riders can download the Transit mobile app from the Apple App Store for iOS devices, Google Play for Android devices, or by visiting

Real-time transit information may also be available through other apps currently used by riders, though the Transit mobile app is recommended for the best user experience.

Online, SMS, and Voice Riders can access Turlock Transit’s real-time transit information 24/7 by visiting, then selecting their route and stop. Riders can also call or text (209) 222-2154 with a bus stop ID number to get the next two arrival predictions for all routes that serve that bus stop. A sign will be posted at all bus stops with further instructions for riders. Turlock Transit provides this service at no-cost, but depending on the passenger’s wireless carrier, message and data rates may apply.

In addition to real-time arrival predictions, Turlock Transit administrative staff have access to Swiftly’s web-based dashboard for advanced reporting and performance analysis. Staff can view real-time bus location for the entire fleet, view historical location information for every bus at any point in time, compare on-time performance of routes, evaluate run times and analyze the speed of buses through any and all routes. This information is invaluable for transit planners when considering passenger requests and service modifications.

Funding for this project was made possible through the use of Local Transportation Fund (LTF) transit grant funding. No General Fund monies were used. This deployment is the first phase of a larger improvement project in future years that will involve on-board fleet upgrades and enhancements to improve operational effectiveness and enhance the rider experience.