Every bus visible on Google Maps in real-time.

Idea#21

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Every bus should have a GPS transmitter, and its transmissions should be uploaded to Google Maps through a standard API which could be used by all transit agencies in the nation. Every bus in the nation should have a unique ID that would identify the route number and transit authority/system that each bus is a part of. The system should be smart enough to support light-rail systems, ride-sharing businesses, and perhaps regional and national carriers like Greyhound as well.

I should be able to pop up Google Maps on my smartphone in any city in the nation, and see where the next bus actually is, how long it will take to reach me, where it goes, and how it can connect to other nearby transit systems.

On the back-end, Google trip planner could use this real-time data to update its transit maps in real-time, giving me up-to-the minute directions on how to get from Point A to Point B.

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  1. The idea was posted

Comments

  1. Comment
    Linda Kurij

    This is already being done in King County Metro Transit, Wash. state. Because of it, we are able to have a program known as One Bus Away, telling riders how long until buses arrive at their bus stop. Very convenient.

  2. Comment
    Steve Yaffe

    Lots of Apps besides Google Maps use GTFS data. I do agree with the first paragraph, as GPS and AVL is an important command/control feature for Dispatch to keep buses on schedule, for planners to evaluate on-time performance between timepoints and develope timetable adjustments; and for managers to recommend budget adjustments to add more service to a route.

  3. Comment
    Community Member

    What about just showing where buses are located on a map rather than the predicted time they will arrive? That way you can make your own decisions on traffic and when your bus might arrive and not rely on the predictive software.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Andrew Nash

      I'd show the buses and the predicted time.

  4. Comment
    gordon

    Must be available to any software vendor not just google

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment
      Andrew Nash

      GTFS can be used by anyone, it depends on the transit agency to release the data

  5. Comment
    Andrew Nash

    It's very important for transit vehicles to be tracked in real time and for this information to be released to the public in a standard format via API feeds.

    Notice that applications like Moovit are already collecting this information via mobile phones and making predictions etc about service quality. Isn't it crazy that public transport agencies are not doing this themselves?

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