While folks within the MTA are working off of the B63 pilot to deliver real-time bus tracking to Staten Island (and eventually, the entire city), Philadelphia has, after ten years of work, finally flipped the switch on its on GPS-based real-time bus tracker. The project — called TransitView — follows 116 bus routes, 3 trackless trolley and 8 trolley lines, and the data is updated every three minutes throughout the day. The service also includes SMS notifications for bus arrivals. For more information, check out Technically Philly and the TransitView website. It’s certainly fun to poke around on the live map as well.
Ideally by the end of this year, Staten Islanders will enjoy this feature, and the rest of the city’s buses will follow suit as well. It should help revolutionize bus travel within the city too. As buses become less reliable and more prone to delays, ridership has dropped over the past two years. If riders know when the bus is coming, how far away it is and how long their rides should take, they can better plan their bus trips. It’s all about customer convenience in an age of technology.