Last summer when David Shen heard County Connection would offer real time bus arrival prediction, he began to spread the word among his co-workers at Chevron in Bishop Ranch. Bus Tracker has now been installed on all County Connection’s fixed-route buses and the software uses GPS location data to predict arrival times. Buses transmit their location every thirty seconds via the Sprint network enabling Bus Tracker to predict arrival times and make bus location information available to the public on the web.
“Bus drivers really do a good job of keeping the buses on time in normal traffic conditions,” said Shen, a regular County Connection passenger, “but all it takes is a little fender bender during the commute hour for the freeways to back up. Since Bus Tracker went live last month I’ve been able to completely eliminate my wait time at the stop.”
All passengers need is access to the internet to see where buses are on-route, and to see when the next bus is predicted to arrive at a stop. The map view uses the familiar Google map as a base to show buses progressing along the transit routes. Riders can view the upcoming bus arrival times by selecting any bus stop in the system.
“Near the end of my day, I open Bus Tracker on my computer or smartphone and keep an eye on the next bus as I finish up, then time my departure based on when the bus is due to arrive,” continued Shen. “County Connection deserves kudos for installing this system.”
The implementation of Bus Tracker is the latest upgrade to County Connection’s on-board computer system. Having real time arrival information is particularly important for a suburban system because the bus comes less often than in an urban area. “The new system is more appealing to new riders because the uncertainty is removed” said Anne Muzzini, director of planning at County Connection. “We have come to expect up to date, current information via the web and County Connection riders now have this for their bus route.”
Because customer service agents can see where buses are and what the predicted arrival time is, even riders without access to the internet can have more accurate information. Prior to being able to use Bus Tracker customer service agents relied on the “scheduled” times. Now they can see if a bus is caught in traffic. Riders are encouraged to set up a personalized account to receive arrival alerts via text or email messages. Simply visit www.cccta.org and click the Bus Tracker button to get started or to set up a personalized account.
County Connection operates a fleet of 112 clean diesel and 9 hybrid diesel buses in fixed route service and 63 gas powered vans in door-to-door service. For assistance with Bus Tracker or get information on bus routes from Customer Service staff, please call (925) 676-7500.