TransitView: SEPTA unveils real-time bus and trolley app, also SMS and smartphone schedules - Technical.ly Philly

Jun. 1, 2011 9:33 pm

TransitView: SEPTA unveils real-time bus and trolley app, also SMS and smartphone schedules

The web app relies on GPS-enabled SEPTA buses and trolleys
Now you can know just when your bus is arriving.

SEPTA will unveil Thursday its long-awaited real-time bus and trolley application, along with SMS and smartphone schedules, transit agency officials announced.

Dubbed TransitView and designed to be accessible by most smartphones, the web app relies on GPS-enabled SEPTA buses and trolleys to track precise positioning on a Google Map, as depicted above, SEPTA Director of Emerging and Specialty Technology Michael Zaleski told Technically Philly.

In addition to TransitView, SEPTA will also announce its ‘Schedules to Go,’ which can be accessed by text message or a web-enabled smartphone. Currently these are static schedules and not real-time, though there are internal plans for real-time eventually, Zaleski said.

GPS devices were first started to be put on buses almost a decade ago, Zaleski said, and envisioning for this project began more than two years ago. TransitView was a year-long project, involving geocoding each bus and trolley stop and extensive quality assurance.

The project is the result of efforts from SEPTA’s Control Center, its IT, Planning and Communications departments.

In coming months, all of the real-time json and XML data will be released as an API, Zaleski said.

The GPS tracking devices on the buses and trolleys update their position every three minutes, and the app shows their last known location, rather than making predictions, as weather or tall buildings can sometimes block check ins.

[TransitView]

[SEPTA SMS]

[Smartphone]

Companies: SEPTA
People: Mike Zaleski
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