University

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 www.unitrans.com or directly at www.nextbus.com.

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

Uber investing $25K in U. of Md. student startups

Students at the university's "Startup Shell," a collaborative space and technology incubator, may compete in business competitions for potential investor grants from Uber. The partnership will also include mentoring opportunities and the creation of an "innovation council," which will include students, faculty and staff, for crowdsourcing and development.

Former U. of Mich. grad to lead Ann Arbor transit agency

Matt Carpenter has more than 15 years of experience in the transit industry, including the past eight as CEO of Strathcona County Transit in the Edmonton area. He has a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan, where he studied from 2001 to 2003.

Gov. urges U. Illinois employees to use Amtrak

Executive Order 8 addresses Illinois’ fiscal crisis by recommending that state agencies require employees, whenever possible, to take public transportation or carpool when traveling. The state hopes this action will reduce travel reimbursements in gas money.

Ohio State U. to build CNG station

The university recently issued an RFQ and is evaluating potential locations. Four of its new buses are powered by CNG, and the school says it sees a benefit to converting more of its vehicles to alternative fuels.

Pupil transportation veteran shifts to Villanova university job

In his new role, Jerry Rineer works with Villanova students who have mobility issues, providing support for them as they make their way across the 254-acre campus. The private university, which has a total enrollment of about 10,700, has a large fleet of vans and other vehicles to serve its students.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

Please sign in or register to .    Close