Mandy Penney states that the updated app has had a negative impact on her quality of life.
GoBus users in St. John say there are many improvements that need to be added to the system’s new booking app.
Released in August for the Metrobus paratransit program GoBus, the smartphone app was developed to make booking GoBus easier and more efficient.
But Mandy Penney says her experience was never easy.
While Penney, who uses a motorized wheelchair, enjoys some of the new features in the app: knowing how the bus is running and who the driver is, the new system has glitched, she said that it had affected her quality of life.
“It’s too difficult to travel multiple times a day, so I ended up reducing day trips,” she said.
One of the new services given by the GoBus app is alternate departure timings. However, Penney stated that those departure times are frequently hours before or after when someone may wish to be picked up.
Penney claimed she resorted to contacting a friend for a ride to her medical appointment when the app estimated her a four-hour wait time.
“It’s going to be worse when winter arrives,” Penney said, “since we know people won’t be able to go out using their mobile devices without public transit, so they’ll do fewer trips.”
Another concern Penney has is that the new system does not offer an arrival time at the destination, “making it difficult to know when you’re going to arrive and [when] to schedule your return journey,” Penney said.
The app is also only available for phones and not for PCs.
“People without cellphones or data plans must call, and the wait times to contact GoBus through text or phone are hours lengthy,” she explained.
“I’m fortunate to be able to use the app or SMS, and I’m typically not in a rush, but I know a lot of others have been waiting for hours or are trapped.”