The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) partnered with Swiftly Inc. to bring improved real-time transit arrival and vehicle crowding predictions to RideKC. The improvements were tested internally at KCATA in 2020 and are now fully implemented.
As part of this project, Swiftly is leveraging existing GPS data from onboard broadband routers and the agency’s dispatch system, Trapeze’s TransitMaster. Swiftly leverages this vehicle position information to more accurately predict when the next bus will arrive, rather than relying solely on the existing dispatch system. Customers and RideKC staff can now access more accurate bus arrival and position information right from their phone, via the free Transit app, which will also improve accuracy of real-time information available at digital displays, including those along Prospect MAX.
Swiftly gives customers more frequent location updates every few seconds, instead of every 30 seconds. When a bus is traveling at 30 miles per hour down a major thoroughfare, that can be the difference between missing the bus and the bus being a block away.
Transit app is using the same feed to provide real-time vehicle crowding information using existing Automated Passenger Counters (APCs) onboard select vehicles. Eventually, the entire RideKC fleet will be capable of providing this information, which has been widely adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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