The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) has launched RouteShout, a simple, cost-effective way for transit organizations to provide riders with scheduled or estimated arrival times over text message and smartphones.
Customers using RouteShout are able to quickly and easily find bus stops, routes and arrival and departure times on their electronic devices. If the user has a GPS-enabled phone it will display nearby stops, otherwise a simple search by location can be made. Riders can browse by location or search for stops by street name to see when the next bus will arrive. In addition, frequently used stops may be saved as favorites for quick access later.
Devices that are currently supported include Apple iPhones or Android 2.0+ based handsets, and HTML 5-compatible browsers. Users can download the app for free from the appropriate app stores. All other riders can access via their mobile Web browser at m.routeshout.com.
By using existing data sets and an off-the-shelf product, the MVTA was able to move quickly to launch this free service. “We launched RouteShout only 12 days after we first learned about it,” said MVTA Planning Manager Michael Abegg.
In addition to RouteShout, the free StopFinder app is also available for Apple iPhones 3GS. This augmented reality software takes advantage of the camera in the phone, helping riders navigate to their bus stops.