There’s nothing quite like racing to your bus stop, checking the monitors and your smartphone app as you hustle to your destination, and making it by only seconds! No longer is this a miracle of modern technology, but rather an expectation by today’s savvy passenger .
Unfortunately poor implementation, limited program management, and inferior schedule algorithms result in transit agencies displaying wildly inaccurate wait times for buses and trains. Systems that don’t account for the unexpected have been known to display estimated arrival times that can be hundreds of minutes off or show nothing at all.
What if a student or businessperson arrives at the stop and has 30 minutes to get to a meeting or class. They look at the monitor, expecting a 5-10 minute wait and see 400 minutes until the next bus.
They will probably realize the monitor is wrong, but where do they go from here? When will the next bus arrive? Will it be two minutes or 20? Should they wait or start walking? Do you check a printed schedule? A printed schedule tells you what should happen, but without accurate location technology, how do you know where the bus is currently, so you can decide what to do next?
Inaccurate vehicle tracking data is worse than no data. It needlessly creates a poor customer experience.
What options do we have to correct these scenarios? Better programming, backup hardware, innovative apps, and send to text can offer additional information and alternative methods for finding bus locations.
What passengers want and expect today is real-time data. Technology impacts nearly every aspect of our lives, from the simplest tasks like ordering a pizza to complex and personal tasks like telemedicine where doctors can diagnose and prescribe from hundreds of miles away. The possibilities for transportation efficiency, transparency, and passenger satisfaction are incredible if they have confidence in the accuracy of the arrival data.
Your passengers will thank you.