IndyGo should go back to school. I suggest IUPUI.

It was right after the new year that Kevin Kastner sent an email that read:

IUPUI real time bus locator:

I click on the link and find this:

I replied back suggesting the following simple Urban Indy post:

Why the f*** doesn’t IndyGo have this?

I’m not trying to be crude, but of all the things that have been discussed, to me a bus locator for web and mobile applications would be the best added value for the dollar.

Rail corridors, while important, can only cover so many people. Buses are still needed.
Additional bus lines, which are still greatly needed, are subject to the same traffic jams and vehicular breakdowns that automobiles run into.

People who have tried using the bus but stopped often mention that a big drawback is not knowing when the IndyGo bus would arrive. People can forgive a late bus if they know that it is running late. People would appreciate knowing if they missed their bus.

And I think it would be any easy upgrade. All of IndyGo’s buses have GPS on them. The system automatically announces bus stop names. The display tells the driver how far behind they are running. And I’ve witnessed a substitute bus driver taking a wrong turn and, within 10 seconds, dispatch was calling them to find out what is wrong; so you know that the buses are being monitored.

There is no reason why IndyGo couldn’t add this. Add I think this should be priority one. Before expanded bus routes. And before rail transit.

Comments 3

  • “That being said, we try to be creative and leverage grant dollars for other improvements. Yes, we just finished the installation of GPS on our buses and our next step is sharing with the public. We are in the process of researching products and platforms to share our real time arrival information with our passengers. This will mean a new web site, an online trip planner and texting functionality from every bus stop to find out next bus arrival. Trust me, I wish we had this done yesterday, but these projects do take a little time and planning. I hope to have some of these tools by Q1 or 2 of 2010.”

    This was a response I got about GPS tracking on Oct 14th, 2009.

  • This should be a no brainer. Indyconnect or not, this is easy stuff. IndyGO might even be able to get an intern from IUPUI who could do this kind of stuff.

    No excuses

  • While IndyGo is spending the money they need to make it an App. The current demographic of riders may not get much benefit from this, but ridership of the tech savvy would sky rocket. Time is too valuable for many people to waste on an inconsistent system. Unfortunately a large portion of the population that generally rides the bus are those who have no other choice, but it is time IndyGo does something to start getting people of different demographics using their system. The more riders, the safer and more cost efficient the system becomes.

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