Iowa university, transit ops to add NextBus technology

Posted on June 14, 2010

WebTech Wireless Inc. , a provider of vehicle fleet location-based services and telematics technology, has signed three separate five-year contracts for its NextBus Real-Time Passenger Information Service (RTPIS) with the University of Iowa, Iowa City Transit and Coralville Transit. Total value of the contracts over the full term is approximately $700,000.

The coordinated effort by the three agencies will track more than 70 vehicles and include the implementation of NextBus' Telephone Information System, on-board passenger Wi-Fi on certain vehicles, and Automatic Passenger Counters on some vehicles for automated FTA reporting.

Several buses will be outfitted with engine diagnostics interfaces (OBDs) to manage vehicle usage, maintenance and environmental initiatives. In the case of the University of Iowa, Driver Silent Alarms will be installed for increased driver and passenger security.

"The three transit agencies serving the Iowa City/Coralville metropolitan area are very excited about NextBus, and proud to be the first in the state to offer seamless vehicle location services to riders. We've been investigating these services for a few years, and this year it all came together with NextBus, which will achieve our goals of increased convenience, sustainability and safety," said Romy Bolton of the University of Iowa, Project Manager representing all three agencies.

The University of Iowa's 14-route transit system serves 30,000 students, faculty and the general public. Iowa City and Coralville Transit serve approximately 85,000 inhabitants, operating 28 routes, with central transfer points between services. Each agency provides on-demand services for disabled users.

NextBus RTPIS patented technology predicts transit vehicle arrival times in real-time, based upon a vehicle's actual GPS location, and provides this information to transit users via electronic digital signs, mobile phones, internet-enabled computers, or NextBus' automated Telephone Information System, accessible from any phone.

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