Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has developed a new app called Transit Tracker that will allow users to see when a bus will come to their stop.
The new app is especially useful because RTA buses only go to each stop once every hour, unlike SLO Transit buses, which stop about every half hour, Manager of Marketing and Community Relations for RTA Mary Gardner said.
“People wouldn’t know whether they missed the bus or not,” Gardner said. “Now they can look on their phones and it relieves a lot of anxiety.”
Before creating Transit Tracker, RTA received multiple calls a day from riders asking when the bus would come to their stop, Gardner said.
Users can download the app for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play and use it on their laptop, smartphone or tablet. The app features a map of all RTA routes as well as times the bus will arrive at any stop on its route. Users who text their bus stop number to (805) 541-4782 will also receive a text back with an estimate of how far away the bus.
Cal Poly students often ride RTA buses, and the new system can help them make sure they aren’t late for class, Gardner said.
“If there’s anyone who’s obsessed with being on time, it’s college students,” Gardner said. “It relieves anxiety about them being late to class or the buses being on time.”
RTA’s new features also include LCD screens to show what bus stops are coming up and automated stop announcements in the bus. Soon, major bus stops will have screens that will show bus arrival details.
“We can hope that as we make our systems better … the bus becomes a more appealing option,” Gardner said.