WebTech Wireless Inc., a provider of vehicle fleet location-based services (LBS) and telematics technology, announced that the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) have approved a recommendation by their Operations Committee to award a five-year contract for Real-Time Passenger Information Services (RTPIS) to WebTech Wireless’ NextBus division. The contract is worth $1,649,900, inclusive of two one-year options.
Under the contract, NextBus will use its patented technology to process data obtained from all buses in LA Metro’s fleet equipped with GPS devices, then provide real-time, predictive bus arrival information to users by interfacing with the Southern California 511 phone- and website-based traveller information service, LA Metro’s own public website, the nextbus.com website, as well as cell and smartphone text messaging. Some services are expected to begin by early 2011.
NextBus will also provide LA Metro fleet managers with various reporting and monitoring tools to improve fleet operations and enhance customer service. Outdoor digital displays of bus arrival information, a component of many NextBus installations, have not been included in the contract, but will be considered at a later date dependant on user requirements and available funding.
“This is an especially important award for NextBus as it builds on the success we’ve already had with other large transit authorities such as San Francisco’s MUNI, Toronto’s TTC and Washington DC’s Metro. The fact that we won this contract going head-to-head with several very large competitors speaks to the quality of our technology and the reputation for service and reliability we’ve established within the industry. Transit agencies large and small are now seeing the real benefits we can provide to their fleet operations and transit system users,” said Owen Moore, WebTech Wireless’ COO.
LA Metro operates the third largest public transportation system in the U.S. by ridership, providing bus and urban rail services to approximately 1.4 million weekday riders over a 3,711 km2 (1,433 mi2) area. At peak times it has over 2,000 buses in operation and is considered one of the region’s largest employers.
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. Users can also sign up for automatic email or text alerts, sent minutes before their bus, streetcar or train is predicted to arrive — allowing them to be at their stop just-in-time and reduce waiting. NextBus also provides transit authorities with numerous fleet management tools designed to improve operating efficiency, enhance service and meet government reporting requirements.