The Denton County Transportation Authority (DCTA) board of directors recently approved a contract with Strategic Mapping for an integrated Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) which will provide passengers with real time travel information.
The “Where’s My Ride” real time travel information system will help passengers access the DCTA system more easily. “Where’s My Ride” will allow passengers to obtain predictive arrival information for the next bus or train at a passenger’s particular stop location via mobile application, sms text alert, telephone Interactive Voice Response or through the DCTA website. DCTA anticipates deployment of this product late this year.
“Where’s My Ride” will use accurate location data provided by a Global Positioning Device mounted inside each DCTA Connect bus and A-train railcar. That information will be integrated with the operator login information (including the route, run and destination sign code) and will then be transmitted wirelessly to a server using onboard cellular equipment. This server will integrate location and login information with schedules and map files to output predictive arrival information to the customers. Passengers can subscribe to specific routes through the system so that alerts can be auto-generated based on passenger preferences.
In addition to the “Where’s My Ride” system, DCTA has also partnered with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) and the Fort Worth Transportation Authority (The T) in developing “GO Pass,” a regional mobile ticketing application. The “Go Pass” application will provide passengers with an additional option to purchase their transit pass via smartphone for any of the three transit agencies in the north Texas region and is expected to go live in the fall of 2013. “Where’s My Ride” predictive arrival and trip planning information will be integrated with the “GO Pass” application to provide passengers with the ability to plan and pay for transit trips from a single mobile application.
“Improving the passenger experience is a strategic focus of this agency,” stated Jarod Varner, vice president of transit operations. “Providing innovative trip planning and fare payment tools to our passengers will provide greater access to information necessary to make using DCTA services as easy as possible.”
To further enhance the variety of DCTA’s passenger information, the agency also plans to implement rider alerts via sms text message, build a mobile-friendly website and continue to improve utilization of “GO Request,” the agency’s customer service mobile application.