Saturday, June 20, 2009
Some great news for those of us in DC: WMATA is rolling out real-time bus arrival information for all its routes.
The NextBus system, in case you're not familiar, has GPS transmitters on each bus, and combines their location with information on traffic patterns to estimate arrival times at a given stop. This is great because it reduces the information hurdle to riding the bus, which is higher than rail. Not only are bus schedules less accurate because of traffic, but outside of routes you use all the time, it's often not even clear if the bus you want comes by the stop, if it runs on Sundays, etc. Now, there are ID numbers posted at each stop, and you can just plug it into your phone and find out if it's worth waiting. (The graphic on the sign looks a bit like a bus saying "Whaaa?".)
I still prefer my bike, though...