Ever been stuck waiting for a bus, train or ferry and wondered, “Where the heck is my ride? Well, thanks to modern GPS technology, this issue may become a thing of the past. New GPS tracking systems are being installed across the country so people can monitor the whereabouts of their public transportation in real-time.
This type of tracking system is especially helpful to people when the weather conditions are severe. No one likes standing in the rain, snow or extreme heat waiting for a ride. Now when a bus or train is late, you can take shelter from the heat or cold because you will know exactly when your transportation will be arriving.
In Michigan, people on-the-go who use a smart phone or another hand-held device that can access the Internet will be able to track the location of their city bus fleet in real-time using GPS tracking technology. Passengers will be able to tell when the bus will get to their stop.
Among the functions of the new system: real-time bus arrival and departure information at major stops viewable on the department’s website and on smart phones; automatic versus driver-activated stop announcements; back-up cameras and other safety sensors and a monitoring system that can automatically alert transportation staff of potential maintenance problems.
In Alaska, people can monitor the real-time arrival and departure times of ships. The new GPS tracking system for ferries will use a new online tool that enabling users to monitor nearly every ship in the fleet on a map with pinpoint accuracy. The system will work on smartphones, too.
Until now, there was no one way to know when, or if, the ferries would be arriving. Now the tracking system can tell people if there’s been a delay or schedule adjustment.
The new tracking system map is live on the web site (www.ferryalaska.com) now but is currently in the test mode. It should be officially unveiled by September 1, 2011.