Riders with Android-based phones on Columbia buses now have to use a different way to access route updates and announcements.
The GoCoMo application programming interface is no longer compatible with Android phones after a recent base Android system update. The app remains functional on Apple-based phones.
The more than 1,000 active app users will have to rely on accessing the GoCoMoTransit website through a web browser on their phones instead of the app. The city is working to explore a replacement application, wrote John Ogan, Columbia Public Works spokesperson in an email to the Tribune.
Nearly 2,000 people have downloaded the Android GoCoMo App, where 1,050 are average daily active users in the past month.
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Ogan himself learned of the issue when trying to access the GoCoMo app on a mobile device, he wrote.
“I contacted TransLoc asking if they would restore the Android version, and was then informed that the API for the Android app is no longer up to date,” he wrote. “TransLoc informed me that an update to the Android operating system had been the cause.”
The city’s GoCoMo app was developed by Doublemap, which later was purchased by Transloc, Ogan wrote.
“TransLoc recommended (the city) purchase their app to replace the Doublemap app, which is no longer being supported with updates,” he wrote.
Doublemap is the basis for many transit applications in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Jefferson City Transit uses the base Doublemap application for its transit tracking system and online map. JeffTran has not made a similar announcement online as Columbia did regarding Android app compatibility.
“GoCOMO is currently exploring options to replace our current bus tracking system. Until a replacement app is secured, Android users are able to track their buses at GoCOMOTransit.com. We apologize to our riders,” Ogan wrote.
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Bus operators and Wabash Bus Station staff, who have received the bulk of questions, are providing the same guidance, Ogan wrote.
The city is still exploring the possibility of bus route compression due to staffing shortages.
Compression was suggested to start in mid-February but has not yet taken place. City staff await a recommendation from the Public Transit Advisory Commission, which met Tuesday, Ogan wrote. If route compression moves forward, the city’s six routes could combine into three, doubling route lengths and waiting times from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.
A similar route compression is also related to a staffing shortage that has taken place in Jefferson City. Its six routes were combined into three on Feb. 6, increasing route times from 40 minutes to 80 minutes.
Charles Dunlap covers local government, community stories and other general subjects for the Tribune. You can reach him at [email protected] or @CD_CDT on Twitter. Subscribe to support vital local journalism.