Summit Stage’s new bus-tracking app will soon be available for download. A live map of the bus routes is already available on the Summit Stage’s site, with estimated arrival times for each stop.
“They’re figuring out the final bugs on it,” assistant Summit County manager Thad Noll said. “Then they will have the app available.”
In addition to tracking buses, he said users can set alerts for when their bus will arrive. The app will be available for both Apple and Android, using technology from DoubleMap, an Indiana-based company.
The mapping technology tracks buses using a GPS-system and transmits that information using cell phone signals, making it available online and in-app. Users will also be able to track their location in respect to the nearest bus stop using their phone’s GPS.
“We will roll it out pretty soon,” Summit Stage director Jim Andrew said. “We’re getting close. It’s just not quite at the point where it’s an app that you can officially find on your phone.”
Users with a good, old-fashioned flip phone will still be able to receive information on the go. Soon, users will be able to text a stop ID to a designated phone number and receive texts with estimated arrivals times for the next bus.
But the app is just one small piece of the entire “Smart Bus” project, bringing the Stage up-to-date with new technology. An automated passenger-counting system has already been installed in each bus, which will save drivers the time of recording a head-county on paper.
“Right now, drivers keep that info manually with a paper and pencil,” Andrew said. “We’ll be doing it manually for a while until we’re confident it’s working the way it’s supposed to.”
The passenger-counting system is intended to provide more detailed information about the busiest routes, stops and hours for each bus, giving Summit Stage feedback on the most efficient use of each bus.
Over the next few months, the Stage will also look to install a next stop system that will display the name of each stop on an electronic sign. Electronic signs will also be posted at each transit center, showing the time for the next bus.
It just makes the system, particularly for visitors, a little easier to use,” Andrew said. “And for locals, too — If we get a snowstorm or construction and the bus is running late, you’ll know what’s going on.”
He said he hoped to see the app available as early as next week.