Starting this winter, Athens Public Transit will offer real-time bus tracking services to riders through DoubleMap Incorporated (www.doublemap.com). Using GPS location information, the service shows buses moving along their routes on an online map, and provides dynamic predictions of the next bus arrival time at each stop. Transit users can view the information in a web browser or on their phones or tablets — both iOS and Android apps are available as free downloads.

“There is some real anxiety that comes with waiting at a bus stop, because you’re never convinced that your bus is going to show up until the moment you see it,” said APT’s Michael Lachman. “Tracking services like DoubleMap’s take that uncertainty out of the equation — a rider can even wait indoors, following their bus on the app.”

The service will offer benefits to operations as well, according to APT general manager Mary Dailey, “GPS location will give our dispatchers a more accurate on-time status of routes and buses to share with customers.”

Athens Public Transit is the second local bus system to sign an agreement with DoubleMap after Ohio University CATS launched tracking in August, and the two systems have discussed the possibility of offering coordinated real-time displays at the Mulberry Street (Baker University Center) connecting stop sometime in the future.

Bus tracking is currently being tested and will be fully live at the start of Ohio University’s Spring Semester, Jan. 12. In the meantime, a static map is viewable at athens.doublemap.com.

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