Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Spokane Buses Get "Smart Bus" Technology

Ever get to your bus stop and you're not really sure if you missed your bus, and if so, when the next one will be there? Wonder no more. Spokane bus riders can now use real-time bus tracking that shows when the next bus will arrive at a particular stop.

An article in today's Spokesman-Review says you can track your bus by computer or on your smartphone at spokanetransit.com/betatripplanner. Each bus and bus stop has its own unique number. Buses are tracked by GPS. Maps on the website show the progress of each bus. Highlight boxes give estimates of the buses’ progress in real time.

This will be especially useful during winter storms when buses often fall behind schedule. The information can be used to reduce waiting time for bus passengers in bad weather. In the future, STA will get new electronic reader boards at the Plaza that will tell riders when their bus will pull into its loading zone.

The $4.9 million smart bus technology was funded in part with $2.2 million in federal congestion mitigation grants distribute by SRTC.

2 comments:

Charles Hansen said...

Actually I have been beta testing it for months, it does work on my desktop, do not have a smart phone to try it on.

SRTC Staff said...

Yeah I've been beta testing it too! I think the Spokesman article ran today because STA is doing an "official" unveiling a little later this month. I'm excited! Hate leaving the office in the winter and freezing for 15 minutes because I don't know when the bus is coming.

About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.