Governor Deval Patrick today announced the availability of real-time bus location and arrival information for all 187 MBTA bus routes serving 47 Massachusetts cities and towns and launched mbta.com/apps, a resource for customers seeking applications and services that provide real-time bus arrival information. The Governor made the announcement at Ruggles Station, where he used the new service before boarding a MBTA bus.
"We are taking the guesswork out of the daily commute for thousands of people who rely on T service across the region," said Governor Patrick. "By creating innovative and practical customer solutions, we are ensuring transportation reform is working for the commuter – exactly who we intended it to work for."
Following a project to equip more than a thousand MBTA buses with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology in 2009, dispatchers in the MBTA's Bus Operations Control Center were able for the first time to pinpoint the location of every MBTA bus in real-time. As of today, that same information is available to T bus riders, regardless of route.
Less than ten months ago, MassDOT launched the first phase of its open data initiative by releasing real-time information for five bus routes. The data released to software developers included real-time GPS locations of buses and arrival countdown information for every bus route. Within just one hour of releasing this data, a developer built an application showing real-time bus positions. Within two months, more than a dozen applications had been created including websites, smart phone applications, SMS text message services, and 617-phone numbers. All of these applications were created at no cost to MassDOT or the MBTA.
In his first week on the job, MassDOT Transit Division Administrator and MBTA General Manager Richard Davey announced that real-time data would be provided for all routes throughout the entire bus system. The expanded rollout began in June and was completed yesterday.