The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has been named one of the 2010 Chicago Innovation Award recipients for bringing valuable and timely bus service information to customers via the popular CTA Bus Tracker system. The award ceremony was held Nov. 1 at the Goodman Theatre. Bus Tracker is a Web-based program that uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to provide customers with estimated bus arrival times and service information.
“Since the initial testing of Bus Tracker in 2006, the CTA has made great strides in finding ways to enhance its functionality so that riders can rely on this travel management tool wherever they may be,” said CTA President Richard L. Rodriguez. “In its few short years, Bus Tracker has evolved from a Website accessible from desktop computers to information that is easily accessible from wireless devices and readily available on displays throughout the city.”
A 2009 analysis of top Chicago searches on Google found that Bus Tracker was the second most searched item by Chicagoans. Perhaps even more impressive, that same survey indicated that the term "cta bus tracker" was ranked as the fifth fastest rising search term in the U.S. via Google Mobile search.
CTA’s Bus Tracker can be accessed via the Internet at ctabustracker.com, via text message by texting 41411 with “CTABUS” and a bus stop identification number or customers may sign up for customized e-mail alerts with information on their specific routes.
Established in 2002, the Chicago Innovation Awards focus attention on the most significant new products and services introduced in the region. The ten winners each year are innovations that uniquely fill unmet needs, spark a competitive response in the marketplace, exceed market expectations, achieve financial success, and improve people’s lives. The Chicago Innovation Awards were founded by Thomas D. Kuczmarski, senior partner and president of Kuczmarski & Associates and Dan Miller, Chicago journalist and business editor for the Chicago Sun-Times.