Kingston Transit partnership leads to new app features for transit users

Kingstonist file photo by Logan Cadue.

Kingston Transit customers may receive a message in their Transit app today — and it isn’t spam or a scam.

Kingston Transit riders who use cell phone or tablet apps to access their transit and route information now have free access to Transit Royale, a subscription that unlocks additional features, special Kingston Transit branding, and new customization options, according to the City of Kingston.

The City relayed that, through an Open Data program, Kingston Transit has made data on schedules and real-time information available to transit applications for several years.

“This allows customers to access trip and real-time information through their preferred app, such as Google Maps or Transit,” the City said in response to Kingstonist inquiries. “The service information has been accessible in Transit for as long as the data as been available, however, the partnership is new.”

In a media release, dated Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the City stated that Transit provides real-time public transit data for trip planning on Kingston Transit, and more than 300 cities worldwide, and goes a step further by including options like walking and cycling as separate options or in combination with a trip on transit. The cycling directions let you know what kind route you’ll be riding on, such as whether it’s on local roads or if there are bike lanes, the City noted.

With Royale, “riders have access to features such as customizable themes, personalized emojis that allow riders to become celebrities on their local bus line, and leaderboards for users competing to help the most riders with Transit’s GO crowdsourcing feature,” according to the release.

The City said that, starting today, customers in the service area will receive a message in the app informing them that Kingston Transit is upgrading them to Transit Royale, and they will immediately be able to access the subscription’s additional features.

Image via the City of Kingston.

Kingstonist inquired if the subscription to Transit Royale will continue long term with no cost to Kingston Transit users, and if the City foresees an increase in bus fare to compensate for this app subscription/upgrade. In response, the City shared that for customers and Kingston residents, the Royale features will be available as part of the Transit/Kingston Transit partnership, and that the cost of providing the Royale Partnership to customers and residents is within the 2024 budget.

“Our Transit app provides City of Kingston residents with a single application to plan their journeys – the application provides options for alternative transportation modes, such as bike, walk, car share and Uber, including multi-modal trips (bike + transit),” said Christopher Norris, General Manager of Transit Services for the City of Kingston. 

“This new tool now available to residents further supports the City’s strategic objective to make alternative transportation modes easier to plan and use.”

More details about Transit Royal are available on the Transit website.

One thought on “Kingston Transit partnership leads to new app features for transit users

  • As someone who does not own a cell phone, I find the increasing use of “apps” unfortunate. It is hard to access important information and trying to reach a person on a landline to get information is almost impossible. Not all people have cell phones and businesses and services should not exclude them.

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