We had a great group attend our CAT User App workshop with a mix of Charlottesville residents, City officials, and CAT employees. Lots of different neighborhoods were represented providing us with a variety of takeaways. Several residents shared troubles based on personal experience with our transit system as it relates to safety, accessibility, communication, and frequency.
There was a powerful moment in the room where one sure shared that using transit was a must for her. She stated that she does not have the option to use other means of transportation. Unlike many members of our community, she (and other people like her) depends on CAT being more efficient. Another member also stated that we should shift the culture for transit ridership in Charlottesville.
We are very glad to have captured all of this insight from varying lenses and viewpoints of our community. We hope to build from this workshop and are thankful for all of our participants. Below we have outlined some general feedback on CAT from 10+ riders that attended the event. The City and Charlottesville Area Transit were very welcoming of this feedback and took notes throughout the entire session. CAT mentioned that they were aware of many of these issues facing riders and that they are working hard to make the system better for the community. We are very appreciative to have had the City and CAT there to listen and reassure community residents of their mission to improve Charlottesville. We would like to thank community residents for attending and having their voices heard, as well as the following organizers who helped to make this event successful: Rick Hinton (Citizen Organizer), Kangyoon Bae (City), Juwhan Lee (CAT), Hollie Lee (City), Nathan Newell (City), Steve Hawkes (City), Sean Tubbs (Citizen Organizer), and Ethan Tate (Citizen Organizer).
The purpose of this event was to focus on giving users of the CAT app an opportunity to provide “user feedback” on their experience in order to improve the rider experience and promote public transportation.
Before we get into the general feedback for CAT’s service here are what some riders had to say about the CAT App –
“The CAT App needs a facelift,” said one user echoing the consensus in the room.
Many app users mentioned needing a huge learning curve to accurately use the app. They also mentioned that among other problems, time accuracy has been a setback. One user, in particular, mentioned that the app is not advertised heavily and that she only knew of the app through a City IT contact. Other remarks mainly dealt with the design of the app, with users complaining that they have to zoom in a lot at times to see which option to click. Another rider mentioned that a directional indicator for clicking the routes would benefit riders. For some users, all of these issues cause them to abandon the app and use the CAT site for routes. City and CAT staff have indicated that they are aware of these issues and are working on improving the system.
Below we have outlined the feedback provided on the overall CAT system (ridership and app use).