Developers: Online app hopes to shorten bus riders waiting time
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- No one wants to be standing out in the cold for long, especially waiting for a bus. Some developers volunteered to create a service that can shorten the amount of time people have to wait.
Many have to depend on public transportation to get to where they need to be. There's a new application available online that tracks TARC buses in real time. WDRB Reporter Paige Quiggins tested out www.YourMapper.Com to see how well it works.
Thousands hop on the TARC bus every day. Those who depend on it understand that with weather and traffic, comes delays.
"You sit there and wait and wait and wait," said TARC Rider Terry Krahwinkel.
TARC Rider Keisha Matlock said for the most part, the TARCs come on time, but in the cold temperatures, delays cause frustration for riders.
"Especially with as cold as it's been -- you sit there and you freeze your butt off," said Krahwinkel.
Matlock said she had some recent encounters that caused her schedule to have to change.
"Just last week we had a bus, number 29 that was an hour late. It took me about ten minutes to even get through to the TARC place and by the time they got on the phone, they told us no bus was coming, we would have to wait for the 224 to come," Matlock said.
Krahwinkel said he has been riding the TARC for 3 years because he does not have a driver's license. He said that he usually does not have many problems, but things can change with unforeseen circumstances.
"Yesterday, my 23 coming from Fern Valley was running 3 minutes late. Well, that three minutes caused me to miss my 29 and I stood out in the cold for 45 minutes," Krahwinkel said.
Developer Michael Schnuerle said the YourMapper.Com application was developed to change that.
"It takes a snapshot of every bus, so you can see where the bus is, what the delay is, where the next stop is and the actual route it's traveling," said Schnuerle.
"It will tell you when you click the bus, which one is yours so you know when it is coming to your stop."
As WDRB updated the tracker via a smartphone, Reporter Paige Quiggins said the application appeared to follow the bus on an accurate timeline.
Schnuerle said TARC released the information to four volunteer developers a few months ago. In our on-the-go society, he said the city is ahead of schedule..
"Most cities have released their scheduling information and to the public so that's what HopStop uses, so you can use HopStop in Louisville," said Schnuerle.
HopStop is an application that maps routes for travelers using public transportation.
"But for real time information, the exact location of every bus, there's not that many cities that are doing it, maybe ten in the United States," said Schnuerle.
"So Louisville is one of ten cities that has this real time information out there. so we are on the same ranks as Chicago, New York, D.C. and so I think we are ahead of the times releasing this information."
For those bundled up, waiting to work or play, they say it's going to be a big help.
"Yes it would because you wouldn't be standing out on the bus for so long," said Krahwinkel.
Matlock said for her and her son, the Your Mapper application would be "Awesome."
To get from Bardstown Road and Eastern Parkway on Bus 17 just before noon, it took exactly twenty minutes to get to the stop at 8th and Jefferson Streets. The application was refreshed every minute and the 1 minute delay that was reported did not increase.
Schnuerle said other smartphone application developers were working to get a system in place that could be better suited for mobile devices. He said he recommended the site for actual computers because the screen is much bigger.
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