Thursday, September 11, 2014
Riders who take some of the city's most-ridden bus routes can rejoice: Port Authority today announced that effective immediately 17 new routes have been added to its real-time tracking system.
Those routes include the well-travelled 61s and 71s as well as the 75 and 54N — all buses that serve Oakland (see below for a full list of routes with real-time tracking).
The service allows anyone with an internet connection to see — in real-time — exactly where the next bus is and how long it will take for it to arrive.
"The more people realize how reliable [public transportation] is, the more likely they will take it," Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said at a press conference this morning.
The system will also eventually include a texting service for those without smartphones.
Including the routes that now have real-time tracking, about 25 percent of the system has the service, Fitzgerald says — and by the end of the month, that number will be closer to 50 percent.
The remaining routes will get real-time tracking in clusters of 10-15 new routes every couple weeks, with the goal of a full roll-out on buses by years' end. Tracking for T riders won't happen until next year.
The transit agency will also begin buying digital displays for high-volume stops that will show similar information; those aren't expected until the middle of 2015.
Riders can take advantage of the system by going to realtime.portauthority.org or by downloading smartphone apps "Tiramisu," "Transit" or "Transit Times Plus."
The system will cost $3.6 million for a full roll-out on buses and $5 million for the T, Fitzgerald said.
Here's a full list of routes that are live right now:
71A, 71B, 71C, 71D
61A, 61B, 61C, 61D