GPS technology informs riders of bus location
Neil McGlohon, The Oklahoma Daily
Instead of waiting out in hot or cold weather, students and bus riders can use Cleveland Area Rapid Transit’s new GPS system to find out when their bus will arrive at their stop.
To access the system, passengers log onto www.CARTgps.com through their computer or phone browser. Then they can select an overall view of the route and the bus’ position, or they can select a specific bus and stop to see how long until its arrival. Passengers can also text their stop number to “41411” and get the information by text. New signs are being added displaying stop numbers throughout Norman.
Cody Ponder, CART planner and grant specialist, said in an e-mail the new program will help bring accurate information to passengers so they don’t have to wait outside in inclement weather. The information is generated in real time, so if the bus is delayed students will know when it happens.
“This real-time bus-tracking information just reinforces our commitment to OU students and the Norman community,” Douglas Myers, director of OU Parking and Transportation Services, said in a press release. “CARTgps.com is the latest step in meeting the needs of today’s university community.”
The website is operated by Synchromatics, a company that specializes in bus tracking and route analytics, and boasts other features such as passenger counts detailing the amount of people getting on and off at particular stops. While Synchromatics operates the website, a CART dispatcher monitors it, Ponder said.
The program cost $110,000 to implement and was possible through the Job Access Reverse Commute and New Freedom federal grant. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation distributes the money, which must be used for new services. CART has received $274,000 from the grant and the GPS service cost $87,907.20, Ponder said.
Adrian Elam, history senior, rides the CART buses everyday. He said he has never had a problem with their punctuality, but he is excited for the new system.
“To be able to know for sure where you are at and when you need and where you need to be,” Elam said. “I think it sounds perfect.”