Blacksburg Transit: There's an App for That

May 13, 2014

Credit Blacksburg Transit

Blacksburg Transit is joining a handful of locales in Virginia that have an App for youR smart phone that let’s you plan your bus trip.  Officials say it will save money, energy, and riders’ patience. 

For mass transit riders, there’s nothing more frustrating than watching the bus pull away while you decide weather to break into a sprint to catch it. Tim Witten is the Intelligent Transportation Systems Manager for Blacksburg Transit.

“Your refrigerator can now tweet out and tell you that it needs a new filter, but if you look at transit systems there’s a bus running on a static route on a static schedule," he says.

Witten envisions a not too distant future when Blacksburg the transit center will be able to tailor its buses to riders’ needs in real time.  For now, the new smartphone App, for Android and Apple will make it easier to get information about bus routes.

“We’re serving up the content that the user needs. We’re also pulling back some  anonymous data about the trip.” Did you make the trip, how far in advance do you plan it, when do you arrive at the stop? Can that info be used as barometer for what the ridership will be for the rest of the day?

The Blacksburg Bus Smart Phone App was designed by Automation Creations and Nomad Mobile Guides, both from Blacksburg.  Funding came from a  TIGGER grant – Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction – from the US Department Of Transportation.

Download the app here.