ValleyRide’s new online “bus locator portal” will allow riders to use smart phones and other devices to view precisely where their bus is on its route.
In fact, an interactive map will show all the buses circulating on 26 routes throughout the Treasure Valley.
“As a small urban system, we are proud to bring cutting edge technologies typically installed in large urban systems to our riders,” Rhonda Jalbert, VRT Development Director, said in a press release Tuesday morning. “Technology is such a ubiquitous part of society now. Our riders want to be able to get travel information within seconds, right at their fingertips so they can plan their trip and their day.”
The bus locator portal software pulls GPS information on the buses and transmits it in real time.
Valley Regional Transit partnered with intelligent transportation system provider RouteMatch Software. The cost of the software was $27,500. The annual maintenance and support costs are free for the first year and about $9,400 for the second year.
Susan Powell, VRT Customer Service Supervisor, said in the release that she expects the number of “Where’s my bus?” telephone calls to customer service specialists to drop as the public becomes aware of the portal.
ValleyRide is beta testing the portal, which can be accessed through its Web site, www.valleyride.org/. The link is near the bottom of the Web site.
“We felt it was a good time to roll this out because of the chance for bad winter weather slowing buses,” said Mark Carnopis, community relations manager for Valley Regional Transit.
There are two major road projects that could impact a bus operator’s ability to stay on schedule — the Broadway Bridge replacement and the construction of the roundabout at the intersection of Hill/Catalpa/36th, Carnopis said. Additionally, the roundabout project will impact eight routes.
Valley Regional Transit provides about 1.5 million trips each year in Ada and Canyon counties.