Mobile apps finally available for Siesta Key trolley

Operator of the Breeze still working on a few bugs

This is the trolley icon featured with the EyeRide app on Apple operating systems. News Leader photo

The operator of the Siesta Key Breeze finally has received the necessary go-ahead from Apple and Android to release its mobile apps for riders, representatives of CPR Medical Transportation LLC told members of the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce on May 22.

A person can go to EyeRide on Apple operating systems, Ann Frescura, executive director of the Chamber, reported during the Quarterly Chamber Members Meeting at the Daiquiri Deck. On Android systems, Chamber Director Joye Argo added, a person just needs to search for “Siesta Trolley.”

Nathan Reid, general manager of the trolley, explained that all a person waiting on the Breeze needs to do is look at the map the app provides to determine the estimated time of arrival of the trolley at the person’s location.

Adem Adem, a consultant for CPR Medical Transportation, told the group that he has continued to work with the tech companies to iron out issues with the apps.

For example, Helene Hyland noted during the meeting that she has an Android phone, and when she first searched for the app, she found it under “CPR Medical.”

Reid responded that, with both software systems running, CPR Medical has submitted an application to have the name “Siesta Key Breeze” used for both apps. “It’s a common name for newcomers [to the island],” he noted.

Frescura offered another suggestion. When one clicks on the app, it says, “205 Canal Road” or “Turtle Beach turn around.” She asked — “if it’s not too much trouble” — whether CPR Medical could add information making it clear that Turtle Beach is on the southern end of the route, while Canal Road is the northern terminus of the trolley trip.

“As Helene pointed out, the tourist population turns over weekly, sometimes daily [on the Key],” Frescura explained. “They have to learn [the app’s operation] quickly.”

Adem Adem talks with a county representative following the May 22 Chamber meeting. Rachel Hackney photo

Adem indicated that he would work on that, as well. “Make it dummy-proof.”

Adem also told the group that CPR Medical wanted to get the app up and running before the spring break season began in March. However, he continued, “The Apple side took a little longer,” and CPR Medical wanted to launch both that app and the Android version at the same time.

“[Apple] rejected [CPR Medical’s request] four, five times, because they say Florida is known for apps for gambling,” Adem continued. “They gave us a hard time.”

CPR Medical, which runs the trolley through a contract with Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT), even had to get county staff to write a letter to Apple, confirming how the app would be used, he said, before Apple would agree to work with CPR Medical.

At least the apps had been launched before the Memorial Day weekend, Adem pointed out. “It’s functional. Anybody can download it. … That’s a great thing.”