If you haven’t already, you’ll need to install and setup Commute Tracker before we can begin using the app’s Trip Planner.
In this article, we’ll be discussing mobile trip planning and providing a step-by-step process to exploring the Trip Planner’s functionality. To begin, open the app and navigate to the second tab at the bottom of the screen, labelled “Trip Planning”.
Trip Planner Overview
Once you’ve reached the main page of the Trip Planning tab, you’ll see 3 areas of interaction, which will vary in appearance depending on how you’ve used the platform previously.
The first section of the page is the Trip Search tool. Using an origin and destination as inputs, you can find different travel options between two points. Simply type in 2 addresses, or use your device’s location as one of the points, and then tap the “Plan Your Trip” button.
If you’ve already saved a favorite commute trip or trips, they will appear in the second section. Otherwise, this section will have a single card directing you to save your first trip, as you can see in the first screenshot at the top of the page.
The third and final section of the Trip Planning page is the Carpool area. If you are a member or owner of any carpools they will appear here. Opening a carpool you own will allow you to edit the pool’s details, invite others, or delete it altogether, while opening as a member will allow you to view the pool details and give you the option to leave the carpool.
Searching for Travel Options
As mentioned in the overview, to view your commute options between any two locations, use the Origin/Destination search on the Trip Planning home screen. After doing so, you will be greeted with a variety of different travel modes for getting between your locations. To save a search as a favorite, click the star icon on the results page. For more on saving favorite trips, see below.
You can scroll through a travel mode’s individual results by swiping up and down to view the entire list. Also, to navigate between different modes, swipe horizontally or tap the mode icon that you wish to view at the top of the results. Depending on how many commute modes are available to you, the icon area may be horizontally swiped for more icons as well.
Tapping on an individual result will bring up a split-view for the option in question, showing you a map of the trip route on the top portion of the screen with the details in the bottom portion.
Viewing Trip Results
Either from a new Trip Search, or by tapping the “View More Options” link at the bottom of a saved trip’s card, we can explore all of the matched results for that trip. Once at this screen, we can filter results by tapping the ‘3 slider’ icon directly beneath the star icon. Here you can specify in more detail which carpools to filter, as well as Transit option schedules. You can also specify a departure date and time to filter for all options by tapping the clock icon to the left of the filter icon.
From the first mode displayed, you can swipe up to scroll through each match for that mode.
To navigate to a different mode of transportation, swipe left and right. If you’re looking for a specific mode, tap the icon at the top of the screen representing that mode. Swiping horizontally in the icon bar will display additional modes if available.
Map and Navigation
Once you’ve found a mode and a specific match for that mode that you’re interested in, tapping on it will bring you to the split-view planner. The top of the screen is a map-view with the route of the option drawn out. At the bottom are the details about this trip. Tapping on the card will slide it up into full-view, revealing more details. The details displayed here vary, depending on the mode of the selected option.
Swipe left/right on the cards at the bottom to navigate between options within the currently-selected mode.
From the map of any selected option, tap the dark grey button in the upper-right corner to show all available map layers. Toggle each layer on or off to view more trip options/information directly on the map.
Examples of layers that may be available on your platform include but aren’t limited to: Traffic Conditions, Zipcar locations, Park & Ride locations, Bikeshares, EV Charging Stations, and more!
For any carpool match you tap on, there are some unique aspects of how the split-view appears compared to other modes.
The most noticeable difference is the switch on the right side of the screen to toggle between viewing the current match as the driver or a passenger. The lower option is to view this match as the driver who will pick you up, while the upper option is to view this match as a rider who you will pick up. By default, we show the trip to you as though you are a rider.
You’ll also notice that the details card displays a time, and in some cases distance, when viewing a carpool. This is the deviation in time/distance the carpool would have to make in order for you to join. If the deviation is large enough, we will display distance as it becomes more of a deciding factor with fuel as a consideration.
Carpools, vanpools, and bikepools also give you the option to “Connect” with the pool owner. From the split-view, tapping the lower details card, and then the green “Connect” button will open a window for you to send them a message. These messages are sent via email, so if you receive a response from the pool owner it will come to your email inbox.
Planning and Saving a Favorite Trip
Either from the second section of the Trip Planner’s main page, or after searching for trip results, you will have the option to save a favorite trip. This makes planning and logging trips between two often traveled places a breeze. If you are beginning from the main page, tap the “Let’s Go” button in the ‘My Commutes’ section. Alternatively, if you’ve already searched for a trip, you can save it by tapping the star at the top of the main results screen.
You’ll need to fill out the trip details here as follows:
From: The origin of the trip (i.e. your home address, if you commute straight to work)
To: The destination of the trip (your work address, the gym, grocery store, etc.)
Schedule Type: If the trip is taken regularly, select “This Is My Commute”. If the trip is taken sporadically or without a consistent schedule, select “One Time Trip”.
Times: Times at which you leave by and arrive by
Days of the Week: Which days of the week you take this commute
Flexibility: Simple toggle button that tells us whether or not you can afford to take small detours before arriving
Interests: Specify if you are interested in sharing your trip to match with other users for Carpooling or Bikepooling, with an additional text box for details (Optional)
Preferences: Share your preferences about who you would like to share trips with (This helps us match you with the best options)
Finally, after inputting your information for each of these, tap “Save” to store this trip and its details to your profile and simultaneously share it with the group of people you’ve specified.
NOTE: If you’ve selected the “One Time Trip” option, these selections will change since we won’t be sharing the trip with others. The options in the ‘Schedule’ section will be reduced to just departure date and time, as well as flexibility.
Edit or Delete a Saved Trip
After you’ve saved a trip, you can edit or delete it by finding it in the ‘My Commutes’ section on the main Trip Planning page. If the trip you wish to edit/delete isn’t the first visible card in the section, you can swipe horizontally to scroll through each trip. Once found, tapping the pencil icon in the upper-right corner will bring you to the edit screen.
From the edit screen, you can alter any of the trip’s details and tap the “Save” button at the bottom to update it, or you can tap the red “Delete” button at very bottom of the screen to remove it.
From the ‘My Commutes’ section of the Trip Planner, you have access to all of your saved commutes with shortcuts for Carpool, Transit, and Bike mode options. Tap “View More Options” to see the rest of the modes.
Viewing Your Carpools
Once you’ve created a carpool or joined someone else’s, you can view the pool at the bottom of the Trip Planner’s home page in the “My Carpools” section. This will display details like the origin and destination of the carpool, as well as the members and who among them is the carpool owner.
Tapping on a carpool that you’re a member of will bring you to a page with even more details about the schedule and route, as well as give you the option to leave the carpool.
Tapping a carpool that you own will bring you to the management section, where you’ll be able to invite new members to your carpool, remove members, view your pending invitations, and edit the details of the carpool.
The Trip Planner is an incredibly powerful tool for finding alternate tranportation options and connecting like-minded commuters. Now that Trip Planning is available in Commute Tracker, it’s even more powerful and accessible than ever before!
If you have any questions about the Trip Planner that we didn’t cover here, or if you encounter any bugs or issues with the trip planner or app in general, please contact the RideAmigos helpdesk.