Bus riders on the Free Ride transit system in Breckenridge, Colo., can now track the location and expected arrival times of their buses thanks to new technology making its first appearance in the state. Breckenridge Free Ride—the operating agency for the bus system—is making the program available across multiple platforms, including mobile devices, social media and a dedicated website.
The program, called “Where’s My Bus?”, receives GPS data from digital radios installed on the entire fleet of 13 buses. GPS coordinate updates are broadcasted every 30 second; data is then transmitted—with a delay of one to two minutes—out to the various platforms via the Internet.
Mobile device users can access the information two ways: They can either text the code for their bus stop to a predetermined number or they can download an app available for iPhone and Android. According to the agency, the system sent out more than 5,000 replies in January.
Last April, the agency launched a new website that features an Interactive Schedule, where potential riders can search to determine their closest bus stop and when a bus is scheduled to arrive. According to Breckenridge Free Ride, the schedule had 819 unique users in January.
The agency reportedly spends about $6,000 a year for the Internet service to broadcast the GPS signal, the text messaging service and the website.
Riders can also go to Twitter for near-real-time service alerts.