Aug 26 2015

Connecticut Outfitting 500 Public Transit Buses with GPS

The state is improving the commuter experience by further embracing technology.

Catching the bus in Connecticut just became less stressful thanks to new technology designed to update the state’s public transportation.

Last week, the state began installing GPS systems on 500 Department of Transportation CTtransit buses. The new technology will let commuters track their buses in real time via smartphone apps like Transit App and Google Transit. Although the state has had bus tracking since the 1980s, the GPS systems represent a big embrace of technology that affects people's lives every day.

“It’s really a broad package of technology that allows us to enter the 21st century,” CTDOT transit administrator Mike Sanders told StateScoop. Furthermore, Sanders believes this will do more than reduce the anger that accompanies waiting for a late bus.

“This is going to open up a whole new world of access to information,” he said. “Access to information is something that we think makes customers happy because they have this level of security knowing that bus hasn’t just left and the bus is still coming in three minutes.”

In the coming months, CTDOT plans to equip buses in cities across Connecticut with the technology. The process was initiated in Hartford, Conn., last week, and the agency expects that part of the job will be completed just before Thanksgiving.  “We’ll then start in New Haven next, that’s going to be done by mid-February, then the rest of the smaller operating divisions will probably be done by the first of April,” Sanders said.

Aside from the status updates, the system will offer changing message signs at bus stations using predicted arrival times, as well as automated stop announcements. The goal is for the technology to eventually extend to websites, which provide riders with real-time bus locations. This exhibits a commitment to improving lives through technology.

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