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IndyGo's real-time features for riders delayed

December 22, 2014
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Real-time bus arrival information will be available to Indianapolis riders sometime in the first half of 2015, rather than this year as IndyGo officials hoped.

The city bus company is in the midst of a technology upgrade that's supposed to include next-bus arrival information via digital signs at downtown stops and text messaging to riders. IndyGo officials said last spring that they expected to see those features roll out in the fall, but the project was delayed by a new master agreement with technology provider Trapeze Group, spokesman Bryan Luellen said.

The Trapeze contract covers various hardware and software upgrades, and the company couldn't start work until that agreement was signed, Luellen said. The contract was signed in November, he said.

While IndyGo riders are waiting for the real-time features that are available in other cities around the country, they should have access to a new website that's optimized for mobile devices. Luellen said that website is scheduled to launch in January.

Seventy-five percent of people who visit IndyGo's website do so from a mobile device, Luellen said. "They're really looking for schedules," he said.

Real-time information is becoming standard in public transit. 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. 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. The real-time information will also be available through an automated voice system and Google Maps, which IndyGo already uses for trip planning.

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