Imagine a world where you call Metro Transit’s GoTime number to find out when your bus comes — and it actually comes at that time.
That could be a reality as early as late August. Metro Transit has fitted its buses with GPS systems, and is currently testing a system that would tell you exactly when your bus will arrive.
Right now, when you call GoTime, you are told only the scheduled time — the time your bus would arrive in a fantasy world with no traffic jams or weather. The new system will locate the bus and calculate the time it takes to get to you, so you’ll know if it’s running early or late.
“They’re doing online trip testing to try to ensure everything is accurate before we turn it on for the public, because (it not working properly) would be the worst thing,” Metro Transit spokeswoman Lori Patterson said.
“Say (there’s) one route that’s switching over to another route (with) 20-minute layovers every third trip — we want to ensure that the system is working properly before we put it out there. Otherwise it would result in more confusion.”
Metro Transit plans to implement the system around the end of August. It’s been in the works for two years, but has fallen slightly behind schedule. Part of that was due to the recent GoTime transformation that overhauled the bus-stop phone numbers and voice system.
“It’s been a major project,” Patterson said. “(When it’s done) we’ll have the most up-to-date and real information.”
Another coming change is increased security. Half of Metro Transit’s buses are scheduled to have functioning video cameras installed by March.