On time, on track: Riders will soon be able to monitor their buses

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The answer is coming soon to one of the most frequently asked questions on the streets of Pittsburgh: Where's the bus?

The bus, as in the one that a passenger is waiting patiently to catch, is on its way, but no one at the stop knows where it is or when it will arrive.

All that will begin to change this summer when the Port Authority unveils new technology that will enable anyone with a smartphone or Internet access to track the movement of buses and to project arrival times. By the end of 2014, the public will be able to monitor the movements of all buses in the system except for a few older vehicles.

The technology, already in use by other transit systems, will be a communications boon for customers of the Port Authority. It will let patrons know if they should walk or run those final blocks to the bus stop and it will confirm for them that the next bus promised by the schedule is indeed on its way.

This shouldn't stop the system from communicating more thoroughly on other fronts, including with people who don't have Internet service. Posted schedules and route maps at all bus shelters would be one place to start.

Who knows? It might even earn the Port Authority some new customers.

opinion_editorials


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