There’s Uber, Lyft and soon there will be The Current. C-Tran’s new on-demand ride-share platform will launch Jan. 10.
The service, which costs $1 for adults and 50 cents for honored and youth, will give a door-to-door lift to those traveling in specific areas. Rides can be scheduled and tracked using the new Current app or scheduled online or by phone at 360-695-0123.
The Current will replace the soon-to-be-phased-out Connector, which offered a dial-a-ride service on a fixed route. This old system is not as flexible as what The Current will offer, said Eric Florip, assistant manager of customer experience and communication at C-Tran.
What used to include only Camas, Ridgefield, La Center and Vancouver’s Rose Village will expand to include service areas at WSU Vancouver/Salmon Creek, Rose Village, Camas/Washougal, the Port of Vancouver and Ridgefield/La Center.
“One of the biggest benefits is the cost to a rider,” said Florip. “Anybody’s who has used a ride-share service knows prices can vary quite a bit. With The Current, it’s just going to be the same fixed price.”
The cost will be the same, no matter what the length of the trip is or what time of day it’s in.
Riders will have to be picked up and dropped off within one service area; however, each service area includes a stop that connects to the main C-Tran system. So, riders in Camas and Washougal could take The Current to the Fisher’s Landing Transit Center.
“We feel like it will be a really positive change,” said Florip. The Current will provide “a convenient, low-cost option to go point to point and also to access other areas within our system.”
The C-Tran website lists several tips for The Current’s soon-to-be riders. First, it suggests riders be on time, so as to not miss the pickup window. The driver will only wait for up to 2 minutes.
Second, if riders need to be at a place by a certain time, they should schedule their trip using a drop-off rather than pickup time. If there’s bad weather or heavy traffic, riders should allow for extra time for their trip.
For those needing to cancel their ride, they should do it as soon as possible. Booking the service is making a commitment to the system and driver, reads the C-Tran website. Recurring “no-shows” might get the rider’s account temporarily suspended. And finally, the website suggests downloading the mobile app.
“This is a service that’s really well suited to people who may not have used C-Tran before,” said Florip. “A lot of these areas are outside of our main fixed-route system in the urban part of Clark County.
“We encourage people to give it a try even if you haven’t been a transit rider before. We really feel like this would be a good option for a lot of people,” he added.
The Current will operate weekdays from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. in most of the service areas. Service at the Port of Vancouver, however, will operate from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. and then from 2 to 6 p.m.
Riders can learn how to download the app at ridethecurrent.com.