Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Where's that bus?

You've been there.  It's a cold morning, or raining or something.  You're waiting for that number 12 bus, and it seems like forever until it gets there.  You might be aware that there's a 15 minute interval between buses, but it seems like you've been there for 30, and the urge to strain your eyes looking up the street for any sign of a bus-like vehicle has you leaning into traffic.

With the technology available today, many city's busses are equipped with GPS tracking devices.  And so you ask yourself if this tracking information is available to the general public, and the answer would be, in some cases, yes it is.  Now wouldn't it be cool if you could just browse to the city's website with your PDA or mobile device of choice and get a fix on where your bus was?

Well, I'm not sure how sites like this come in over a mobile device, but I checked out the city of Yakima, WA's website lately and this bus tracking page caught my eye. 

Basically, you can choose the route you want and the buses on that route appear at their present location.  If you click on them (or on your bus stop) you get more information about when they are expected to arrive.  The site is dynamic and automatically updates the bus locations.  This is really cool.   Check it out.

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