Columbia County Releases New ‘Ride On Time’ App

October 15, 2018 – EMTRAC Systems has partnered with Columbia County Traffic Engineering to design and implement a mobile application for small vehicles (such as bicycles and motorcycles). The mobile app is known as Ride On Time Columbia County and is available for free download in the Apple and Google stores for iOS and Android.

Columbia County, which is part of the Augusta, Georgia metro area, is the first location in the United States to release this app to the public. The app is designed to enable county traffic-signal controllers to detect the presence of bicycles and motorcycles at intersections, thereby ensuring these small vehicles are granted green signals rather than being ignored by the signal-phase sequence.

According to county Public Relations Manager Cassidy Harris, detection of bicycles and motorcycles has long been a challenge for intersection signal controllers.

“Traffic engineers recognized that, hey, this light has been red for so long, but there’s a motorcyclist here.” By using this app, cyclists and riders in smaller vehicles will be picked up by traffic signals and no longer sit at red lights for prolonged periods of time. Harris said, “So now, if they’re in the zone and they have the app, it’s going to talk to the signal and help to change that red to green.”

As a small vehicle enters the detection zone for a given intersection, the app sends a notification to the intersection so it can serve a green light for the detected vehicle. As part of the system, the Ride on Time app will not necessarily trigger a green light for the motorist, but will ensure they are not skipped during a traffic phase. The mobile app is expected increase rider safety on the county’s roadways as they will not need to make an illegal turn while waiting on the signal to change.

Detecting Motorcycles has been an Ongoing Issue for Traffic Agencies

Ride on Time Columbia County works at all equipped intersections throughout the county and has a thirty minute run-time before the user has to start the app again. The user’s phone will vibrate once they have entered the detection zone as long as their location services are on so that they are aware they have been recognized by the signal.

The EMTRAC Priority Management System uses precise navigation technology and secure RF communication to detect equipped transit, emergency, and municipal vehicles and to place priority or preemption requests to intersection signal-control equipment. For over 25 years. the EMTRAC system has been used throughout North America to help first-response and transit vehicles get to their destination both quickly and safely. EMTRAC staff members have extensive experience in traffic and transit management.

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