Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bussed: the moves

Catching a bus can be painful. You stroll down to the bus stop on time, only to watch your ride whiz by, empty and a couple of minutes early. Then you sit, and wait. And wait. And wait. Eventually, the next bus arrives, 15 minutes late, and it's so crowded that you get carried off by a wave of exiting passengers at each stop, and have to work your way back on. Three minutes after you board, the bus behind yours overtakes you, with nary a passenger on board, and you wonder why you didn't just drive, or write the whole day off as a big mistake.

Evidently, someone at the MTA in New York has actually caught a bus at some time in their life, and recognizes this issue. Enter BusTime, a pilot program that tells passengers where their bus is.

Powered by intelligent transit technology company, Clever Devices, BusTime gives you real-time information about your bus via a range of methods, including text, internet, and email. You even get to watch your bus on a map.

But this isn't just about making things more convenient for the consumer. It's a public safety issue as well:

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