Calif.'s VVTA unveils Google trip planner update, web app

Posted on November 10, 2015

Hesperia, Calif.-based Victor Valley Transit Authority (VVTA) released its latest bus route and schedule update to Google Transit, the trip planner available through Google Maps. The update features enhancements to all city, county, and commuter bus routes for the Victor Valley and the Barstow area.

Google Transit is available within Google Maps. It is accessible using a standard Web browser or via mobile app on Android, Blackberry, Windows and iOS operating systems.

A full review of 918 bus stop locations focused on geographic accuracy. The renaming of each bus stop resulted in easy-to-understand consistency throughout the 34-route system. Route colors now match those on the VVTA real-time website and the Avail Technologies iOS mobile app available on iPhone and iPad devices. Barstow routes will become available on both real-time platforms following a bus hardware upgrade next year.

The comprehensive revision marks the first update performed entirely in-house.

"Many agencies our size have a department dedicated to GIS (geographic information system) projects," said VVTA Executive Director Kevin Kane. "If not for the initiative of an agile staff that seeks to learn new technologies and take on new challenges, the project would have gone out to bid, cost would have increased and accuracy would have likely suffered.”

VVTA staff coordinated with the county and cities to maintain route and stop accuracy throughout the release cycle. Meeting the needs of the many departments at each agency added to the complexity of the project.

“VVTA marketing lead, Fidel Gonzales, developed an agile revision process using Asana, a cloud-based task management application,” said VVTA Information Technology Manager David Flowers. "Asana was a necessity that simplified what would otherwise be an overwhelming project. The task-focused collaboration and accountability was a force multiplier. The user interface made a monster of a project digestible and delectable."

VVTA is a Public Transit Agency and Consolidated Transportation Services Agency, providing bus, ADA paratransit, vanpool, and commuter service to California’s High Desert. VVTA’s service area spans over 950 square miles, featuring daily service to Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville and unincorporated San Bernardino County, including Dagget, Helendale, Hinkley, Lucerne Valley, Newberry Springs, Oro Grande, Phelan, Pinon Hills, Wrightwood and Yermo.

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