I Tried The New Twin Falls Transit System: Here’s How it Went
Several days ago, the City of Twin Falls low-key launched its new public transit system. I’ve noticed some questions on social media about the service, and I had a few of my own; so I gave it a try and made a step-by-step guide about the process of getting from A to B using the Ride Twin Falls Transit (TFT) system.
Ride Twin Falls Transit is an on-demand service
I think the planners were spot on when choosing an on-demand ride service. While Twin Falls could grow large enough for a traditional bussing system, I don’t think our current population warrants it… at least not yet. In the meantime, Twin Falls residents have a more modern approach to city transit that works with your schedule. You don’t have to plan your day around a bussing schedule. You book your ride when you need it.
The easiest way to book your ride is to use the app
If you’re familiar with modern ride services, you’ll have no problem figuring out Twin Falls Transit. Download the app if your respective App Store, create an account, and enter your credit/debit card as means of payment. Once your account is set up and your payment method is confirmed, you’re ready to book your first trip.
An unofficial step-by-step guide to Ride TFT based on an actual ride I booked to work
Search your destination
Start by searching for your destination. There is a limited service area, so your origin and destination will need to be in Twin Falls city limits.
Enter your pickup location
Provide your pickup location by either entering your current location or letting GPS do it for you.
Enter the number of passengers
Let the app know how many passengers are in your party, and whether you need an ADA-compliant ride for a wheelchair. Note that there’s currently a capacity of 4 passengers.
Review and book it
Now you’re given an overview of your trip to review, the cost of the ride, an ETA of your pickup time, and a final prompt to book it.
Once you’ve booked your ride, you can track your driver to see where they are on the map. Much like a private ride service, the app notifies you of the name of your driver.
How much did it cost?
I live five miles from my office and the round trip to and from work was only $6 total; just $3 each way. That same route would have cost me $18.99 one way using one of the more popular ride services; a whopping $37.98 round trip.
Driver approaching notifications
From here, you get two notifications: An early warning stating that your driver is arriving when they're a few blocks away, and a final alert as the driver is pulling up to your location.
Sit back and enjoy the ride
From there, enjoy your ride. During both my trip to the office and my return home, I had a friendly conversation with both of my drivers. Both of my drivers were courteous, personable, and all-around friendly. They seem to be enjoying their jobs so far and they said that public feedback has been positive. They've seen a range of clients from the elderly, to young families going to school lunch programs, to someone who was on their way to work and their car didn’t start.
Pro tips for using Ride Twin Falls Transit
- If you can, use the app. It saves you time and the notifications you get about your driver's location before pickup are a huge time saver.
- While the app is easier, you can call 208-974-7433 and book a ride the old-fashioned way. At the moment, drivers are only accepting cash for rides that are phoned-in, so you should have exact change for the fare.
- The price is the same regardless of how many people are riding. As long as your party has the same origin and destination, the price for is the same for one or four passengers. Only one of you needs to pay.
- My wait time for both my trip to work and the return home was only about six minutes. I'm guessing that wait times could get longer as the service gains popularity. But for the moment, it's a very short wait.
- I asked both of my drivers about tipping and they said that tipping isn’t a requirement but they are allowed to accept tips. I could not find a means to tip using the app, so if you plan on tipping, you’ll want to carry cash.
- You may be sharing your ride with another passenger. This is public transportation and if a driver receives another pickup that’s along your route, they might divert slightly to pick them up. It shouldn’t have a big impact on your ETA, but it’s worth noting.