Introducing Link On-Demand
Bay Area Transportation Authority has launched a one-year pilot program called Link On-Demand. Link On-Demand is a ride-hailing service like UBER or Lyft, which delivers rides as they are requested. Link On-Demand acts as an on-demand public transportation option for Traverse City, replacing BATA's City Link dial-a-ride service in the Traverse City area (its only area of operation).
There are several different ways to request Link On-Demand rides, including:
- Mobile app (TransLoc): Additional benefits including user-friendly ride requesting, ride alerts, vehicle tracking in real-time, one-click ride requests based on ride history, and a timeline of origin-to-destination
- Online scheduling
- A phone call to BATA Customer Service at 231.941.2324
Rides can be requested either in real-time or up to one day in advance. Additional Link On-Demand details can be found in the FAQ area below.
FAQ—Frequently Asked Questions
When does the Link On-Demand pilot start and how long will it run?
The Link On-Demand pilot begins Saturday, August 1, 2020. This pilot program will operate in the Traverse City area and will run for 12 months from August 1, 2020, through July 31, 2021. If the pilot program is successful, it may become a permanent part of BATA’s regular offered Link services.
What are the hours of operation for Link On-Demand?
Link On-Demand's hours of operation will be the same as the existing service for City Link:
Monday–Friday: 6 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 6 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
How can I request a Link On-Demand ride?
The most efficient way to request a Link On-Demand ride is through the TransLoc mobile app. Passengers will first need to download the free TransLoc app to their smartphone through the Apple or Google Play app stores, create an account, and then request a ride. Rides can be requested in real-time or up to a day in advance.
Following a Link On-Demand request, the app will provide passengers with an estimated pick-up time, track their bus in real-time, and alert them when their ride is about to arrive. Passengers will also be notified when their ride is about to reach their desired destination. Link On-Demand customers will also be able to request same-day or advanced rides by calling BATA Customer Service at 231.941.2324 or by going online to login.transloc.com.
How do you download the TransLoc app?
Passengers are able to download the TransLoc app for free by clicking here or by visiting the Apple or Google Play app stores.
How much does a Link On-Demand ride cost?
The cost of a ride is only $6.00 per one-way trip of $3.00 for reduced-fare eligible persons (students, seniors, persons with disabilities, and veterans or active military). This fare is consistent with BATA's current same-day Link reservation rate. Payment options include cash, pre-paid ticket, or credit/debit cards through the mobile app.
How do you pay for a Link On-demand ride?
Payment options include cash, pre-paid ticket, or credit/debit cards through the mobile app.
How long will you have to wait for a Link On-Demand ride?
Wait times are subject to vehicle availability and demand and are estimated to be 30 minutes or less.
Can you schedule a Link On-Demand ride in advance?
Riders are encouraged to request rides in real-time when they need them, but riders can book up to a day in advance.
Will TransLoc deny a Link On-Demand ride request?
No – Link On-Demand riders will no longer be told rides aren’t available during operating hours. The TransLoc software will update pickup times as requested. Wait times are subject to vehicle availability and demand and are estimated to be 30 minutes or less.
What if the rider doesn’t have a smartphone, computer or has trouble using new technology, how will they request a Link On-Demand ride?
Riders will get the most benefit out of using the TransLoc mobile app to request rides, but rides can still be requested by calling BATA Customer Service at 231.941.2324.
How does a rider know if a requested delivery location is within the Traverse City Link On-Demand service area?
Riders can see the Link On-Demand service area using the mobile app, going online or below. The Link On-Demand service area is very similar to the previous City Link service area – excluding the central and northern part of Old Mission Peninsula.
NOTE: The Link On-Demand service area may vary slightly from what's pictured below—check the TransLoc app or website for an exact service area.
Can Link On-Demand be used to request rides outside of the Traverse City service area?
Not currently. Link On-Demand service is currently only offered in and around Traverse City during the pilot.
Can transfer tickets be used for a Link On-Demand ride?
Yes – but an upcharge may be incurred depending on the previous service used.
Does Link On-Demand accommodate wheelchairs and walkers?
Yes – all Link On-Demand vehicles incorporate an accessible lift for mobility devices.
How does the driver know a ride has been requested?
Rides are delivered to the driver in real-time through an onboard tablet.
What if a passenger has the same reoccurring schedule or ride request? Do they need to book the same ride daily?
No – if a passenger has a consistent ride request they need on a regular basis it can be locked in through a Long Term Subscription re-occurring ride by calling BATA Customer Service at 231.941.2324.
Are any other BATA services changing with the addition of Link On-Demand?
No—Village Link service remains in place taking advanced reservations for rides outside of the Traverse City service area and in Leelanau and greater Grand Traverse Counties. BATA’s fixed-route Loop and Bayline services and schedules will not be impacted.
Why is BATA piloting Link On-Demand?
Customers have been asking for an easy and innovative technology solution to request public transit rides. Mobility options are advancing around the world, and passengers want to request rides in real-time and have options outside of placing a traditional dial-a-ride phone call to schedule them. This pilot will allow riders to book rides when and where they need them. The Link-On-Demand pilot should increase ride availability for customers and make it easier for them to request transportation in whatever method they prefer. BATA is also expecting to see operational efficiencies such as more rides delivered per hour, better utilization of bus and driver resources, fewer last-minute ride cancelations opening rides for more people, and fewer people not showing up for rides that were previously scheduled. BATA also received state and federal funding to pilot on-demand transportation in our region to determine its viability in everyday use and towards non-emergency medical transportation.
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