It’s Time to Get Real

You may have heard stops being automatically announced on your bus, or if you travel through the Shoppes at Park Place transfer center you may have seen the automated message signs. These are part of our brand new, state-of-the art Real Time Bus Info project that we’re gearing up for launch in the next couple of months. This system will tell you exactly when the next bus will be at your bus stop. You’ll be able to access the info at major transfer centers, online, and with handheld devices (i.e. cell phones and smart phones). Each bus stop will have a new sign installed below the bus stop sign that explains where to access the system, and will give you the bus stop ID number that is unique to that stop.

We’ve got the online site up and running in test mode and invite you to check it out! Click on “Estimated Arrivals” then enter your route, direction, and bus stop location; the system will automatically show you the next few buses scheduled for arrival. Click the “Map” button from that page to see your bus and its route on a map. Or, you can start from the “Bus Location Map” side and choose your route and/or stops after clicking the appropriate button on the top right side of the map.

Before you start clicking please remember that this site is in test mode. All the stops are not yet listed and all the buses don’t have the GPS equipment yet that makes this system work so all routes won’t show up. Routes 19, 52, and 74 were in our pilot program, so you should almost always get good info if you select one of those routes. Also, we’re in the process of adding a field where you can type in that unique bus stop number. You can sign up for email and text alerts, but since those modules are not activated, they won’t work yet. Basically, we encourage you to click around, but remember that we’re in test mode.

So, you are cordially invited to click HERE and check out the test mode of the online Real Time Bus Info. Play around with it, try it out and let us know what you think! Please share your feedback either by commenting on this post, or by sending email to ride@psta.net.

 Your Editor,
Cyndi Raskin-Schmitt

p.s. Did I mention that it’s just in test mode? I did? Great!

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10 Comments

Filed under Behind the Scenes, Customer Service, Projects, Real Time Bus Info

10 responses to “It’s Time to Get Real

  1. betazed

    Now this is more like it. It works pretty well as far as I can see. I haven’t yet seen the bus stop IDs or signs at locations other than Park Place in operation but given some of the problems I’ve had in the past with routes like the 79 and 62, this will be most helpful.

    • betazed

      Also, what is route 888? It looks like it covers part of the beach, I’ve never seen this route listed anywhere before.

      • 888 is our internal number for the Suncoast Beach Trolley when it’s south of John’s Pass Village. We’re working with the vendor to get that changed so it shows the service name. FYI – 777 is the Suncoast Beach Trolley north of JPV, 35 and 335 are the Central Avenue Trolley.

    • We hope to start installing the signs with the ID numbers within the next couple of months. Thanks for the feedback!

  2. I noticed the messages that fire up via GPS triggers. I hope you plan to taylor them to the route, I see more potential in them if they announced places of interest off the route especially in between gaps of road with no stops. Also just a side note when I first started riding buses with the automated announcement system I was confused if when it goes off was he announcing the next stop or just the major intersections? It seems like “Next stop 49th street” would be helpful.

    Down the road if the stops are numbered it may be helpfull to announce “Next stop 49th street number748″, you know so you know for a fact that the next stop is yours. Brochures would also need to utilize these stop #’s. … more I think about it number stops would be really useful!

  3. FYI – on the realtime bus information web app, “Select Stop” the drop down is ordered alphabetically. It would be more helpful to order them by sequential order of stops. Also if I select the other direction they could be ordered in reverse with some javascript! :D

  4. is the cetral ave terminal window open today? i forgot to go pick up my bus pass yesterday?

    • Heather – I’m sorry you weren’t able to get your pass. The blog is not monitored on the weekends and after hours. In the future, you’re better off calling the InfoLine at (727) 540-1900 for customer service assistance. Thanks!

  5. I was giving this some more thought, and with your new system I think it would also be great to have some sort of “Que” to select in advance your stop. Most passengers who board the bus already have a good idea as to where they are getting off, so being able to “Que” your stop once boarded would eliminate would-be riders fears of “I don’t want to miss my stop or where do I get off”. Stops would need to be uniquely identifiable and some sort of touch screen interface on the bus could be used to “Que” up a stop so that a rider can sit back and relax and not worry about constantly monitoring their buses location. It would probably be easier and safer on the drivers too as there would be less last minute stop pulls that involve aggressive braking in order to make the stop in time because a rider didn’t notice their stop approaching.

  6. Pingback: Real Time is Really Here! | Ride PSTA

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