Technology is leaving bus riders confused almost three weeks into the WeGo bus route changes.
The re-routing, rescheduling, and combining of routes are the result of an $8.7 million budget shortfall.
For bus rider Stephanie Resch, the changes have been frustrating.
“I went to go into my job on Sunday, and I didn’t know the bus I originally take didn’t run on Sundays,” said Resch. “I didn’t know another route, my phone, I use Google Maps, it didn’t pick up, didn’t register for another bus.”
Turns out, that’s been a problem for hundreds of other riders.
According to WeGo spokesperson Amanda Clelland, about 300 people have called with issues with Google Maps.
“Right now, Google Maps is still displaying the old information so it will still show some of the eliminated routes, some of the eliminated bus stops,” said Clelland.
Clelland said WeGo notified all its routed apps – Transit, Google Maps, Moovit, and Roadify – to update on September 15th, two weeks ahead of the route changes.
All the apps have updated except for Google.
“What we’re asking people to do is to switch over to one of those other platforms until Google has updated so they can have the most up-to-date information and plan their trips reliably,” said Clelland.
Clelland said for the elderly and disabled who must walk father to a stop, there’s paratransit services to help shuttle.
For others, Clelland said WeGo is handling on a case-by-case basis.
“There might be some subsidies for being able to help people use rideshare to be able to get to the closest bus stop,” she said. “We’re just trying to assess each individual situation and see how we might be able to best help people.”
Clelland said the long-term plan is getting dedicated funding instead of relying on Metro’s General fund.
In February, WeGo, like Metro’s other departments, will begin presenting a new budget proposal to the Mayor’s Office.
“We’re obviously going to be coming to the table with ideas about how we cannot necessarily restore the services that were eliminated, but be able to add back in services that makes sense,” said Clelland. “So a route might not be coming back as it was prior to elimination, but it might come back in some form.”
Additional resources for WeGo bus riders:
Online trip planner – info.nashvillemta.org
WeGo Survival Guide – http://nashvillemta.org/PDF/SurvivalGuide2019-FINAL4.pdf
Printed schedules are located at WeGo’s central hub along Martin Luther King Blvd.
Customer Care Line – 615-862-5950