Friday, May 11, 2012

Technology And The SUPERBUS

I'm sure some of this is just complementary, as more people use/rely on transit they become more willing to try its various pieces. But I think that a big contributor to the potential for bus ridership is technology. I'm so old I can remember when you couldn't even punch up a bus route/schedule on the internet (admittedly I'm also old enough to remember when you couldn't punch up the internet on the internet because there wasn't any damn internet). Generally transit websites have improved a lot in recent years, with well done trip planning sites and real-time arrival information. Check for directions on google maps and you, in many places, you can just click the transit button to get those directions, including schedule information. Text message systems provide real time arrival information for "dumb" phones and of course location information enhanced smart phones can tell you how do I get from "here" to where I want to go, incorporating whatever real time information is available.

The point is technology is lowering the entry barrier and improving the experience of the lowly bus.