The Bongo Trip Planner is a helpful tool that enables people to find the best (and shortest) route from one point to another by suggesting bus routes and walking directions, complete with a map and printable instructions.
1. To access the Trip Planner tool, you will firstly need to go to planner.ebongo.org.
- Once you have navigated to the site, you should see a large map of the Coralville/Iowa City area on the right side of your screen, and an area with dropdown menus, Settings options, and a blue ‘Submit’ button on the left.
2. Click the 'Start Address’ bar to get started. This will lead to a textbox dropdown where you can enter the starting point for your route, in the form of an address or specific bus stop.
- As you type, suggestions will pop up below, in the form of either bus stops (for example, stop 8203), or addresses (for example, 201 S Clinton St).
3. Once you've finished typing (or accepted a suggestion for) the start address, do the same in the ‘End Address’ bar, entering the final destination of your route. Click ‘Submit’ once you have finished.
- Once you have a starting address and an end destination, the map to the right will zero in on the route Trip Planner has created between the two locations.
- On the left, below the ‘Submit’ button, you will be given 1-3 ‘options’ for which route you want to take. These options may include some walking, which will be indicated by the symbol of a person moving sideways (similar to some traffic signs). Your route will also include a bus, which is indicated by a symbol of the front side of a bus.
- Beneath these symbols there will be the total time your route will take you (for example, it may read 1:46pm - 2:00 pm, meaking your route will take 13 minutes of travel time).
- Below, it will give show your suggested route in more detail. If you entered an address, you may firstly be instructed to walk to a nearby bus stop. An estimated time this walk will take is indicated to the right.
- When Trip Planner instructs you to take a bus, it will include the name of the transit (Coralville, Iowa City, or Cambus) in blue, as well as the name of the specific bus route (for example, Melrose Express). The stop number will also be given, for both the stop the bus departs from and the stop the bus arrives at. You will be given a specific time to catch the bus (for example, 1:50 pm) and an estimated time of arrival.
4. You will be shown the full version of 'Option 1,' Bongo's first suggestion which generally has the lowest traveling time. You can also look at the other suggestions by clicking on the 'Option 2' or 'Option 3' boxes. This will expand the section to show full details.
5. Once you’ve decided which route you want to take, you can print out a copy of the route description if you wish, by clicking the blue printer symbol to the upper right of each option.