UC Davis bus service offers real-time information

Posted on September 28, 2009

[IMAGE]Unitrans-full.jpg[/IMAGE]Users of the Unitrans bus system serving University of California Davis and the city of Davis can now receive real-time information on the location of buses and their estimated arrival time at each bus stop.

The information on the student-run bus service is available through the Web and an automated telephone system.

"We have introduced real-time information to make Unitrans easier to use for regular and occasional riders," said Anthony Palmere, assistant general manager of Unitrans.

Unitrans, which carries about 20,000 passengers a day, contracted with NextBus, an Alameda-based company to provide the convenience. An FTA grant is paying for about 80 percent of the $350,000 contract; a Unitrans fee paid by students makes up the balance.

NextBus has installed similar systems for more than a dozen university bus systems and major transit systems in San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; and Toronto.

Each of the 50 buses in the Unitrans fleet has been outfitted with a global positioning system tracking unit that transmits its location every 10 seconds. In addition, NextBus algorithms use a bus's location, the schedule and historical data to predict its arrival time at each stop.

Stop predictions and real-time location maps are available through or directly at

The real-time information is also available through Unitrans via phone. To use the phone system, riders need to know the three-digit number for their stop, displayed next to the Unitrans logo on all bus stop signs and available through the NextBus Web site.

NextBus also offers automated text messages to let riders know when their bus is a selected number of minutes away.

Unitrans dispatchers will use more detailed real-time information to help handle disruptions in the schedule and to identify problems with late or overcrowded buses. The system also provides archived data that Unitrans can use to evaluate existing services and proposed changes.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Texas A&M campus experimenting with shuttle services

Two of the vans split up the route and take a set of the stops, while the third van is the cleanup shuttle that drives the route from start to finish getting students that might have been missed by the other two.

Colorado State, 5 more universities receive platinum bike-friendly certification

This year, 127 universities in 42 states were evaluated. Alongside CSU is Stanford, Portland State University, the University of Minnesota and the University of California Davis.

UVa's Safe Ride to transition to Parking and Transportation, expand

The goals of the switch are to maximize utility to students. The van service currently faces problems of limited hours and a low number of vans, with most student complaints involving slow response times and poor routes for students.

U. of Minnesota rejects second proposal to expand paratransit services

The university's Parking and Transportation Services cited a possible reduction in the total number of available rides and potentially increased wait times if the program was implemented.

Petition calls for U. of Utah to fund active transportation

On the university’s busiest days, more than 4,000 students are biking, walking and skateboarding to campus, but there is currently no funding in the university’s transportation budget to accommodate their needs.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close