Blog

The challenge of real-time information

We are super excited about adding real-time information to TransitKit websites and apps. Giving passengers information about where their schedule server actually is rather than where it’s meant to be is a game changer.

Frustration around missing or waiting for scheduled services is one of the key reasons people avoid catching the bus or taking other public transport but if you can see your bus approaching your stop in real-time we can drastically reduce the time spent waiting and the frustration!

But there are some challenges in adding real-time tracking to TransitKit and we’re working through how best to solve these challenges so we can give your passengers what we know they want!

Young woman checking bus timetable on mobile phone

Young woman checking bus timetable on mobile phone

 

Pieces of the puzzle

With the timetable and route information uploaded into TransitKit we already have the first pieces of the real-time tracking puzzle. The timetable and route data you have uploaded tells us where buses or other services should be.

In order to complete the puzzle there are two extra pieces of data required:

  1. Real-time location of bus (or other service)
  2. Schedule of which bus is undertaking a particular route on a particular day

GPS Tracker

To know where your bus is right now we need to fit a GPS tracker or use a tracker of some kind which is already in place. Also we need this GPS tracker to be connected to the internet while it is out and about to pass this GPS location back to TransitKit in real-time.

We are currently looking at several different GPS tracking options which can provide this piece of the puzzle and integrate with TransitKit.

Vehicle schedule

The very final piece of the puzzle is knowing which vehicle is going to undertake which particular route on any given day. How hard it is to know this information depends a bit on the size of your operation and how you manage your fleet of vehicles.

Some operators schedule drivers to undertake particular routes well in advance but allocate vehicles based on how they are parked in their yard. Other operators have scheduled buses for each driver.

We’re currently looking at extending TransitKit to include a vehicle schedule feature to allow us to close the real-time loop and provide real-time service information for passenger however this may not work for all operators.

Next steps

If you would like to take part in the trial of TransitKit’s real-time features, register for the beta and we will be in touch!