Waiting for the bus, wondering when it will show up will soon be a thing of the past—if you have Mountain Transit’s new DoubleMap App on your iPhone or Android devices.
Mountain Transit is getting set to introduce real-time bus tracking as part of its Support Technology for Administrative Resources (STAR) program. STAR will allow for the transit agency to track its buses as they drive on a real-time basis.
“It’s something we thought we could never afford, but when we stopped and thought about all the things we do by hand in terms of tracking and recording data, and what we could improve using technology, it made sense,” said Sandy Benson, Mountain Transit’s assistant general manager.
“Every bus now has a tablet and tracking information is collected through Verizon,” she said. “The driver logs in and at every stop we get data, so we will be able to say how many riders we’ve picked up, where the bus is and where it is in terms of timing.”
The technology, hosted by DoubleMap, utilizes Global Positioning System (GPS) units in each bus to provide real time tracking of Mountain Transit’s buses.
Staff, dispatchers and drivers currently are training with the new tracking system. The next step in the process will be offering a free tracking app for riders. Tiffany Millburn, Mountain Transit’s community outreach coordinator, explained the benefits for riders.
“Real-time information for transit users takes a lot of mystery out of taking public transit by cutting down the amount of time someone waits for a bus,” she said. “Riders can see the time and distance for the next bus arrival, and how many stops away the bus is. This will allow riders to simply ‘meet’ their bus, rather than ‘wait’ for their bus,” she added.
Rider apps should be available in early June, Millburn said.
“Riders can already turn to Mountain Transit’s website to view routes and plan their trip utilizing our Trip Planner; however, the new DoubleMap app will allow riders to track more accurately whether a bus is running early or running late,” she added.