IBJNews

IndyGo getting closer to providing real-time bus info

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In the age of GPS systems and smart phones, it seems natural that city bus users could track the arrival of their next ride in real time.  

That technology hasn’t hit Indianapolis yet, but IndyGo CEO Mike Terry said it’s on its way. ETA: this fall.

Terry said this week that IndyGo will have digital signs at downtown stops that show when the next bus is arriving, and passengers throughout the city will be able to check their phones or home computers for next-bus information.

Real-time information is becoming standard in public transit, IndyGo spokesman Bryan Luellen said. “It’s a great way to attract new riders and maintain riders.”

Portland’s TriMet and Pittsburgh’s Tri Delta Transit are among the urban transit systems that already offer real-time information.

IndyGo laid the technological groundwork in 2006 with the installation of a GPS system that IndyGo uses internally to track buses. Riders can call the IndyGo customer service center to find out whether a bus is on time, but so far there aren’t any other ways to get the information.

That will change with IndyGo’s GPS software upgrade, funded with two federal grants worth a combined $866,000, Luellen said.

The software upgrade by Trapeze Group, a global firm that specializes in transportation management, will enable several new functions aimed at customers, Luellen said.

IndyGo users will be able to send a text message to the system with the unique five-digit ID number found on each bus-stop sign and receive a reply text with the next-bus arrival time, Luellen said. The real-time information will also be available through an automated voice system and Google Maps, which IndyGo already uses for trip planning, he said.

In addition, IndyGo will make the vehicle-location data available to anyone who wants to create their own smart-phone application, Luellen said.

In a second phase of upgrades next year, IndyGo plans to set up mobile payment options and upgrade its website, Luellen said.

Indianapolis International Airport last year rolled out real-time information for its parking lot shuttles, part of an effort to ramp up parking revenue in the face of competition from off-site parking firm TheFastPark.

Each economy-lot shelter has a sign that displays the number of minutes to wait for the next two shuttles, and the airport recently installed a 55-inch screen in the Ground Transportation Center with a map of the bus route and the location of each bus in the network.

“Although waits are very short at the airport, the information the system provides to passengers provides some peace of mind, especially for those arriving in the economy lot who are focused on a scheduled departure time for a flight out,” airport spokesman Carlo Bertolini said.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Picky, Nicky
    Nick, you assume too much. I'm tired of freeloaders like you who want to spend billions of my dollars so you can Tweet your friends in Boston and pretend you're urbane. Indy is a pasture, pal. If you want to be big city, MOVE TO ONE!
  • Pay with plastic
    This is great but I'd be more excited if we could get a payment system like London's Oyster card.
  • To Fred
    DoubleMap could probably help create a smartphone app for IndyGo to track and pay and do all this. But remember, the infrastructure, system, and GPS network was laid in 2006. Its probably more cost effective at this point to upgrade what they have to take advantage of it's features instead of implementing a whole new hardware/software system. Depends on the technology though and if they have an ongoing contract with the company that installed it. Also - why hasn't DoubleMap contacted the transit system in the region in which they operate without GPS tracking and try to partner or sell something to them? IndyGo isn't in the business of going out and doing business development, but doublemap should be. They may or may have. We don't know.
  • FINALLY
    Can I say it again please...FINALLY! I'll be honest, I drive mostly, live right in the middle of town and have started taking it more. As a professional who has meetings to get to in the morning and are running them - I have to know if the bus is on time. I've made friends with someone who is always on the bus and gets on early on the inbound. I text her now to see if its on schedule. FINALLY. The text the number back is good and simple. googleMaps is great since I'm using it to plan my routes.
  • Pay to Play? Brilliant Conspiracy
    Pay to play? You really dont understand how IndyGo is organized. It is an independent municipal corporation with a board that has 3 mayoral appointees and 4 council appointees. based upon your logic then the council is the one that is responsible not Ballard.
  • Trapeze Group
    Fred, to answer your question, I would assume it is because Trapeze Group has donated money to Greg Ballard. Its all about pay to play under his administration.
    • DOUBLEMAP is local and can do this now
      The city just awarded a local firm, DoubleMap, as Indianapolis's "Top Tech Startup Company" -- They provide this exact technology for cities around the country, and I believe they do it within months, not years. HOW are we giving our tax dollars to a global firm who's promised this for YEARS rather than our TOP STARTUP in the city? This is nuts.
    • Sarcasm
      Since I assume none of you ride that bus and NONE of you supported spending more tax dollars for our mass transit, I find your snark to be pretty pathetic. You get what you pay for, and if you're not willing to pay for world class mass transit, then shut up. --- Thank you, IndyGo for the upgrades. It will make travel too and from work easier.
      • Great
        This is great news and I welcome its arrival. While this has been a long time coming, I see no reason to dwell on that. As improvements like this happen, we can show how much they matter by pushing for more and riding more often.
      • progress
        Welcome to 10 years ago IndyGo!! Like the saying goes, "Welcome to Indiana, remember to set you watches back 50 years."
      • Great news!
        I've long wondered why we couldn't text to see when the next bus was on its way like in Chicago or other big cities. That, along with the signage announcing the next arrival times, will be great assets to the system. Better late than never.
      • Classicism
        Neglected neighborhoods and downtown. Finally once vital areas are being recognized and poured into with investment. I hope gentrification process does not turn into the shoving of the lower class as it almost always does.
      • Welcome to 1995
        Welcome to 1995 Indianapolis.

      Post a comment to this story

      COMMENTS POLICY
      We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
       
      You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
       
      Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
       
      No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
       
      We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
       

      Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

      Sponsored by
      ADVERTISEMENT

      facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
      Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
       
      Subscribe to IBJ
      1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

      2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

      3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

      4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

      5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

      ADVERTISEMENT