Enhancing Multi-Modal Real-Time Passenger Information for Pittsburgh Regional Transit

April 1, 2024

Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) and Clever Devices recognize the pressing need for real-time passenger information in a world that increasingly values instantaneous information. Our collaboration transformed the transit experience for countless Pittsburgh riders. This case study emphasizes PRT’s journey towards a multi-modal realtime information system and its profound impact on commuters.


PRT’s initial partnership with Clever Devices began in 2000, focusing on automating vehicle announcements to address the agency’s limitations in stop-calling solutions. However, as ridership increased and the city’s dynamics changed, the demand for real-time passenger information became increasingly apparent. By 2010, PRT recognized the necessity of responding to direct requests from Pittsburgh riders seeking up-to-the-minute information about train and bus arrivals.


Realizing the Multi-Modal Vision with Clever Devices

PRT expanded its partnership with Clever Devices to provide real-time arrival information for trains and buses. Key developments included:

  1. API Integration: The integration with third-party apps like TrueTime meant that riders could access real-time information seamlessly on their preferred platforms whether they were using PRT’s rail or bus service. Access to specific apps proved especially vital during significant city events like Steelers football games or concerts when the rail system traditionally experiences a substantial increase in users.
  2. TAPS/BusTime: These systems offered immediate arrival information to riders, including information on train schedule changes and bus delays due to traffic.
  3. CleverVision: Real-time information screens keep passengers informed and engaged during their commutes.


Seamless Journey Planning Across Multiple Modes 

With PRT’s multi-modal real-time passenger information system, passengers can plan their journey utilizing multiple modes to get to their desired destination as efficiently as possible.

Enhanced Communications 

At PRT, passengers, whether on a train or bus, receive consistent updates on service statuses, encompassing delays, disruptions, and public service announcements. This streamlined communication across various modes of transportation ensures a reliable and efficient commuting experience, enhancing the overall perception of PRT.

Inter-modal Connectivity 

Through integrated real-time systems for both rail and bus, PRT actively promotes the use of various transportation modes. By providing timely updates and a cohesive experience, passengers are not only informed but are also encouraged to diversify their transit choices, realizing the full potential of PRT’s system.

Community Academic Engagement 

With real-time data accessible through APIs, institutions like PITT and CMU engaged in projects that leveraged this data, indirectly benefiting the community by enhancing public transportation initiatives.


Through Pittsburgh Regional Transit and Clever Devices’ sustained collaboration, PRT modernized its technological infrastructure and significantly elevated the daily commuting experience for thousands of Pittsburgh riders. By embracing a multi-modal real-time passenger information system, PRT didn’t just upgrade its technology—it enhanced the daily commute for thousands of Pittsburgh riders, making their journeys more predictable, comfortable, and more efficient.

About PRT 

Pittsburgh Regional Transit is the second largest public transit agency in Pennsylvania and the 20th largest in the United States. Their light rail, bus, and funicular system covers Allegheny County.

Fleet Size

  • 83 light rail vehicles
  • 687 buses
  • 4 funicular cars