App developed by Hatch to smooth the ride for Saugeen Shores trolley users
Hatch has developed a new app for the Town of Saugeen Shores Trolley (SS Trolley), which runs throughout the area during the summer months. Saugeen Shores is home to one of our project offices, which supports work being done for Bruce Power, the operator of the world's second largest nuclear power generating station.
Hatch developed the custom app, on a pro bono basis, for the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce in the hopes that will help create a more enjoyable trolley experience for riders. The Saugeen Shores Trolley (SS Trolley) is a motorized trolley, operated by the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce, that seats about 30 people and operates during the summer months between the towns of Southampton and Port Elgin. In 2017, there were over 7,000 paid rides during the 10-week operational period.
To develop the app, Hatch hosted a hackathon—a way of crowdsourcing best ideas from staff in a sprint-like competition over five days. The winning team was required to develop the framework for an app that would have an intuitive interface that is mobile and desktop friendly, and that could identify the trolley route, the location of the trolley, and the direction it is travelling in. Further requirements included minimal input from driver and enhanced options for advertising and promotion, which could provide increased revenue to offset the trolley’s operational costs. The winning team developed and implemented the app for the Chamber of Commerce.
Some of the features of the new app include:
- A map of the route of the trolley and the surrounding areas (zoom in, zoom out and refresh features)
- Each stop along the route is identified in the map
- Identifies three stops closest to you in the map in different color
- Approximate time of arrival for each stop along the route
- The next stop along the route
- Approximate passenger count (two ultra-sonic sensors are placed near the door to detect passengers entering and exiting the trolley)
- A brief description for each stop
- Links to feedback page and events pages from the chamber sites
“An improved user interface and better-looking app will enhance the rider experience by making it easier to know where the trolley is and when it will arrive at a specific stop. We are hoping an enhanced experience will result in a more enjoyable tourist experience and will hopefully increase return visits to both the trolley and the community,” says Ian Trotman, Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce Trolley Chair and senior nuclear consultant at Hatch.
Hatch, opened an office in Port Elgin in July 2016 and has spent time getting our getting to know the community. “Hatch is serious about making an investment in the community for the long term,” say Amar Jolly, Hatch’s Global Director of Nuclear. “We thought the trolley app was a great way to be able to both support the community, while doing what Hatch does best—solving challenges in innovative ways.”
To access the app please go to: https://www.sstrolley.ca/