Almost two years ago, I wrote a blog post expressing with frustration how important it is for RIPTA to get real-time bus location data to Rhode Islanders through existing apps such as Transit and Google Maps. I just heard that the former, as of a week or two ago, is now available!
Transit is a pretty cool app; it exists specifically for the purpose of showing you real time information about when buses are going to be arriving near you. For each transit line close to your phone’s location, it shows you how many minutes away the next bus is. For each route, you swipe left or right to get information for the other direction.
I understand that not all RIPTA routes have the real time information available through Transit yet, but the “pulsing waves” symbol next to the time indicate that a lot of the forecasts are based on real-time data. Where such data isn’t available, the app relies on schedules.
Congratulations to RIPTA for this big step forward into the 21st Century. It’s not easy making innovative things happen in government, and there are great people working on navigating that quagmire inside RIPTA. Next stop, getting this data into Google Maps!