Greyhound Launches New Tool to Help Travelers Track Real-Time Location of Their Bus
Sourced through Scoop.it from: gisuser.com
Now we’re talking! Getting from A-B is not just about arriving. It’s a journey made up of experiences. The choice of bus vs other modes of transport has to be compelling. Timeliness is one of the first things people think about. Will the bus arrive on time, will I get to the stop on time to catch it? Do I have time to grab a paper or refreshments?
Will it arrive at it’s destination on time?
When I have picked my kids up from a long haul bus trip, I had no way of knowing other than ringing their mobiles to find out if they were going to be on time, whereas obviously a plane has a flight schedule online and on apps.
I’ve been involved in a number of location based application development competitions based on location based services, which you will know about if you have followed my blogs in the past. The big winner of the NZ Location Innovation Awards was an app called ‘Where’s My Bus?’ That was a few years ago now and it was developed by a student in his graduation year who shared a frustration with his fellow students about whether he could rely on bus arrival times.
In recent times bus companies around the world are developing apps with features like this on it, some like the Auckland Transport Bus Apps https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/more-services/mobile-services/ not only tell you when the next bus is, but how to get to the bus stop, travel from one bus route to another but also counts down to the stop where you want to get off. I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t been on a bus or train route where there hasn’t been some anxiety about how close they were to their stop and hoping they hadn’t missed it and gone too far. Apps like these remove a lot of the stress from using public transport.
Two other features which Greyhound have included, that a lot of potential future bus passengers have been saying might help them make a shift to public transport are free WiFi and USB charging points. This is starting to become more commonplace on rail and bus in different parts of the world.
Next time you hop on a bus, make a note of how many people are engaged in the cocooning world of their mobile phone or tablet. My experience in Auckland is that the ratio is around 3:1 of passengers who are using their mobile device. That is something they can’t do when driving, however many still don’t have sufficient data in their mobile accounts because of price, or power in the mobiles so this solves the problem and increases the perceived value of the mode. I hope Greyhound provides figures of uptake of those services and particularly the BusTracker app, now that they have introduced them on over 1200 buses and researches whether it has influenced new patronage..