Wondering Where Your Bus Is? GPS Tracking to Bring Up-To Date Bus Schedules to Asheville

frontbikerack6Do you ever try to estimate where your bus is and how long it will take to arrive to your location? You are not alone in your frustration. Thankfully, modern technology has a realistic solution for the traveling woes of commuters like you. GPS Tracking devices may soon help you better plan your trip to school or work when relying on public transportation. Brett McCall of Asheville, North Carolina, will propose a plan this Wednesday to the Transit Commission that calls for a relatively inexpensive GPS system to give commuters the real time location of city buses. McCall’s main point is that the cost of Glympse, the GPS program anticipated for the plan, is notably less expensive when juxtaposed to comparable tracking services and he believes that these systems can resolve the unpredictability of the bus system in a cost-effective manner.

The primary test cost of the project on Route 9 is $1,000 for one month. But don’t expect the town to pitch in, at least not yet. Support from both individual citizens and local businesses is vital to the success of this program, since the Transit Commission has not yet authorized it.

“We are hoping to be able to fund all or most of this test phase with private funds, demonstrating to the Transit Commission that there is public support for such a plan,” says Stephen Eggett, one of the project’s volunteers. “Since Route 9 has a direct impact on West Asheville and its businesses, we hope we can count on the West Asheville Business Association for support. In exchange for this support, we propose to advertise, on the buses, the businesses and associations that made this test possible,” he explains.

As for the icing on the cake, the GPS tracking program and intended road improvements, as dictated in the Asheville Master Downtown plan, will cohesively work together to allure new commuters. If the reliability of the bus system improves, more people will be attracted to the concept of commuting and many positive consequences can result, including less traffic and therefore less pollution in addition to more revenue for the transportation system.

Although a very inventive idea and greatly necessary for commuters, this is not the first time it has been brought to the drawing board. According to the Tufts Daily, this past spring Boston College implemented a GPS tracking program on their campus shuttle buses. This plan was based on designs from other colleges including Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, Harvard University, and Tufts University.

(Via Mountain Xpress)

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