The rollout is the latest update on SEPTA’s long-delayed push to let riders have access to real-time data on trolleys and buses and trains. Through a $5.6 million investment, 1,400 buses and 159 trolleys were fitted with cellular modems similar to those added to the Regional Rail trains.
The equipment will allow location data on vehicles to refresh every 30 seconds versus the current updates that refresh every few minutes, according to the Inky report.
“SEPTA travelers said more accurate information would be a great help, particularly as they make choices about what mode of transportation to use on a system that struggles to run on time,” McLaughlin writes. “SEPTA’s Regional Rail trains typically are on time less than 90 percent of the time. Buses are doing well if they’re on time 80 percent of the time.”
Thanks to SEPTA’s open API, Philly devs like Douglas Muth (creator of the beloved Is SEPTA Fucked? and SEPTA Stats) and William Entriken (SEPTA Regional Rail On-Time Performance Report) have taken to the dev console to build their own apps worth a try.