By 2014, residents will be able to locate an AVTA bus en route using technology that provides real time information. The board vote paves the way for installation work to begin.
“Installing an IT System is a huge endeavor for the agency and one that will improve customer service by leaps and bounds,” stated Board Chair Norm Hickling. “The Board’s vision is to develop a world class transit system and this is one more step in the right direction.”
Pennsylvania-based Avail Technologies will install the new system over the next 12 to 15 months. When up and running, it will provide travel convenience to transit customers not seen before in the Antelope Valley. The IT System will enable residents with smartphones to predict when the next bus will arrive by accessing the QR code posted at each bus stop. Customers will also be able to gather bus location information by texting the IT system or by visiting the AVTA website. Finally, for those who may be visually impaired, this new system will disseminate information over a cell phone simply by punching in the bus stop number.
“Not only will the system provide convenient information to customers but it will provide important data to AVTA transit planners.” stated AVTA Executive Director Julie Austin. “We intend to use the information to enhance our service so that it meets ridership levels as effectively as possible.”
The system will automatically count the number of passengers boarding and alighting each bus and will even be able to determine the number of wheelchair passengers utilizing each stop. Automatic announcements will also be triggered by the IT system to alert passengers of upcoming bus stops.
“We are especially interested in tracking the agency’s on-time performance,” remarked Hickling. “The board understands the importance of reliability and being on time in transit is a major component. The IT system will provide us with an accurate report card so that we can make improvements where necessary. ”
A special module for customer service representatives will also be installed giving them the ability to better monitor the transit system and provide real time information to customers seeking trip planning assistance.