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New real-time bus info great for riders

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Figuring out how to get around town or from one city to another city by bus is now much easier in Placer County.

That’s thanks to Placer County Transit, which has bus routes reaching from Colfax to the Watts/I-80 light rail station in North Highlands to Sacramento and everywhere in between in our county. That includes multiple Rocklin, Lincoln, Roseville and Auburn bus stops.

Placer County Transit recently added Next Bus, a smart phone app and website that provides real time notification of exactly when buses will arrive at each stop.

Now, riders don’t have to guess if their transportation is on time or if it will be late. Riders can know whether they will arrive at their destination as planned or if they need to adjust their activities accordingly.

Previously, it was hard for many bus riders, especially the occasional rider, who called the Placer County Transit number after hours or tried to  decipher online routes, times and schedules.

Our transit service was not user-friendly, as for example, the Bay Area, where residents quickly find transit information in one phone call or click of an app or website.

In the Bay Area, information on buses, BART trains, trolley cars, ferries, traffic, carpooling, bicycling and parking in a nine-county area is found immediately any time of the day. Residents and visitors learn in just a minute what route to take, at precisely what time, at what street intersection and how much the ride costs.

The Bay Area's free resource makes it easy for residents to get around the region without driving a car.

While that has not been the case here before, that is quickly changing as Placer County added the Next Bus app. Placer County Transit’s website also has a Google Trip Planner link that easily maps how to get from one location to another. The Google Trip Planner was added to the transit website in January. Within seconds, the website’s or app’s planner at maps.google.com provides options and times to catch the various buses.

For those without cars, buses can be a lifeline to get to work, school, appointments and shopping.

This Next Bus app will be greatly appreciated by those who rely on buses in Placer County.

With riding buses throughout Placer County and even into Sacramento now more user-friendly, this is a perfect time for non-riders to try this form of travel. Riding the bus gives passengers more time to catch up on reading, maybe text family and friends, relax and not worry about finding parking spaces.

And if more residents are enticed into using our buses, that improves everyone’s quality of life through a reduction of cars on the roads (hence less traffic) and less pollution from cars.

Riding buses is a huge plus for all of us.