RTS riders can now track locations of buses with new Gator Locator GPS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Beginning today, bus riders in Gainesville will be able to pinpoint the exact location of the bus they’re waiting for with the help of the Gator Locator bus tracking system. The University of Florida and the City of Gainesville Regional Transit System are launching the global positioning system with $204,000 in funds from UF Transportation and Parking traffic court reserves.
Fifty RTS buses are now equipped with the technology that enables riders and RTS Operations to track the real-time locations from a computer, cell phone or personal digital assistant by going to http://ufl.transloc-inc.com/.
“Students can now determine the exact location of any bus that services the off-campus areas of the community — this can be accomplished either online or via a cellular phone,” said Bob Miller, associate vice president of business affairs. “It’s a quick, easy, intuitive service that will provide great convenience to RTS riders, and we are hopeful it will also encourage more students and staff to give the RTS service a try.”
Gator Locator’s convenience will be enjoyed primarily by students, as all city routes serving campus will have tracking capability. The city routes with Gator Locator service during the summer are 1, 5, 8, 9, 12, 13, 16, 17, 20, 21, 34 and 35. Beginning with fall 2008 service, RTS will provide Gator Locator service on three more routes – Routes 22, 29 and 36. The Later Gator Routes A, B, C and F begin service for Summer B on June 30 and will be activated on Gator Locator at the same time. Nine of the 10 Sunday Service routes are currently being GIS mapped and will be posted on the Gator Locator Web site in the near future.
The service will allow riders more efficient use of time, increased certainty while waiting at bus stops and provide more security and reassurance for those who are waiting for buses after dark or in bad weather. The system will also allow RTS to analyze bus flow data and improve schedule reliability and customer satisfaction.
The annual operating cost after the first year will be $143,000; the UF transportation access fee will provide $110,000 and RTS will pay $33,000 with a Florida Department of Transportation service development grant.
“We are fortunate to have TransLoc Inc. as a provider of this service,” Miller said. “TransLoc is experienced in providing real-time bus location in a higher education environment, having installed similar systems at Auburn, Alabama, Yale, N.C. State and others.”
For additional details please visit the Gator Locator Web site at http://ufl.transloc-inc.com/. The Web site can also be accessed from the UF Transportation and Parking Services Web sites, http://www.parking.ufl.edu/ or http://www.parking.ufl.edu/pages/commuteoptions.htm and the RTS Web site at www.go-rts.com.