Benton Area Transit announced a major software upgrade that will introduce new options for riders. (Photo provided by Benton County)

Benton Area Transit, a local transportation provider operated by Benton County, announced plans for a major software upgrade.

Officials said the current dispatching software, which has been in use for nearly two decades, is approaching the end of its support cycle. The upgrade will include the introduction of a phone app. 

“With this optional app, passengers now have the power to schedule their own rides, giving them greater flexibility and control over their transportation needs,” Benton County Public Works Director Gary Stockhoff said through a press release.

BAT’s dispatch office will continue to be accessible via phone at 541-766-6700.

In addition to the new app and traditional phone booking, passengers can now expect reminder calls leading up to their scheduled rides, officials added. The reminders can be customized to fit individual preferences with the option to switch to text messages or opt out of reminders entirely.

The transition to the new dispatch software is set to take place toward the end of September.

Benton Area Transit provides transportation to residents and visitors within Benton County, including general public routes to Newport and Adair Village, and services to eligible older adults and persons with disabilities.