Morgan Lyons at Dallas Area Rapid Transit sends word today of a new cell-phone "customer service tool": the "Where's My Bus?®" app, which allows bus-riders to track their rides to and fro with "a near-real time estimate." Lyons tells Unfair Park it was an in-house creation -- "so we're pretty proud of that" -- that'll allow folks to steer clear of their bus stops till just before it's pick-up-thirty.
"On one of our typical 104-degree July days, I'd like to wait in the air-conditioning as long as possible before heading to the bus stop," he says. "Now you don't have to stand there 10, 15 minutes waiting for the bus. Now you can follow along."
But don't expect a "Where's My Train?" app any time soon: Lyons says that's "probably a couple of years away," as DART finishes overhauling its radio system that will create a "seamless system" that allows police to talk to bus dispatchers to talk to rail control centers and so forth. Besides, he says, "we started with bus because there are 130 bus routes and 13,000 bus stops, and with the train, you go to the station, wait for the train, get on the train and go. The bus is a little different. If people haven't used them before, they can be a little intimidated by it, so we try to find ways to make it a little less intimidating."