At its annual summer Open House, Hatch Engineering in Port Elgin made two significant announcements.
Firstly, the company unveiled its new digital app for the Town of Saugeen Shores’ SS Trolley that runs between Southampton and Port Elgin during peak tourist time in the summer.
The Trolley operated by the Chamber of Commerce seats approximately 30 people and has become a popular mode of travel along the Lake Huron shoreline between the two communities. In the summer of 2017, there were over 7,000 riders during its 10 weeks of operation.
To develop the app, Hatch hosted a ‘hackathon’ to crowd-source the 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,” said Amar Jolly, Global Director Nuclear. The winning team developed and implemented the app pro bona 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
“It is anticipated that 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,” said Ian Trotman, Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce Trolley Chair and senior nuclear consultant at Hatch.
“Hatch is serious about making an investment in the community for the long term,” added Jolly. “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.”
In addition, Hatch then presented a donation of $3,000 to Community Foundation Grey Bruce CFGB). The funds are to be directed specifically toward scholarships for local students to encourage them to get involved in the sciences and technology.
To access the app please go to: https://www.sstrolley.ca/