MBTA Expands Real-Time Bus Tracking

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When’s the bus gonna come? It’s the bane of riders.

Well, for the last six months on a handful of routes, riders have been able to check on their cell phones thanks to an MBTA pilot project that streams the current location of each bus.

"The feedback has been great," said MBTA General Manager Richard Davey. He said software developers — many of them riders themselves — have created more than a dozen mobile phone apps and websites for tracking.

"It’s really interesting once you unlock the data how creative our passengers have been," Davey said.

As of Friday, riders can follow 17 bus routes, with the rest on the way.

"What we're trying to do is make sure the feeds are accurate and there are no problems," Davey said.

Commuter rail will follow. "That's another place where we think applications like this can have real benefit for our customers," Davey said.

Davey added the subway could come after that, but it's harder to hook up such a system underground.

This program aired on June 4, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Curt Nickisch Twitter Business & Technology Reporter
Curt Nickisch was formerly WBUR's business and technology reporter.