02 February 2016
Bus users are being asked for their feedback on a new online service. Track My Bus, developed by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) in partnership with Liberty Bus, indicates the location of every bus running in the Island.
Bus users are able to access the tracker from smartphones and tablets as well as from PCs and laptops. The improved access to bus information will particularly benefit people using stops in rural areas where it isn’t possible to display route timetables, as well as raising awareness of the less used stops and routes. School buses are also included on the bus tracker allowing parents to see when buses are due.
Track My Bus
- provides an indication of the location of each bus
- displays bus stops nearest to your location
- gives information on the next buses scheduled to arrive at that stop
- has links to timetables
Track My Bus on m.gov.je
Replacing existing text service
Track My Bus will potentially replace the TextMyBus service which although well used, with over 160,000 SMS messages in 2015, has been expensive to run. It is hoped that in its first year it will save somewhere in the region of £10,000. Plans include enabling the IT community to propose enhancements to the online service through an open source initiative.
The new facility is based on a prototype originally developed by members of the local tech community at Jersey’s first #hackjsy hackathon event. The concept has been evolved as part of the eGovernment programme and is now part of the States of Jersey’s mobile site, http://m.gov.je.
How it works
Periodically the coordinates from a GPS within the ticketing equipment on board each bus are sent to a central computer via the mobile phone network. The positions are then combined into a single data feed which is then accessed by the web page where the positions are displayed on a map. These are colour-coded by route and every time the location of an individual vehicle is updated, the bus glides across the map into its new position.
Minister for the Department for Infrastructure, Deputy Eddie Noel said: “I’ve been using Track My Bus on a test site and I’ve been very impressed. Not only can you watch your bus’s progress but you can also find out which buses service which stops, and see the timetable. I think it will appeal to a lot of people because it is really easy and fun to use. I have it as a bookmark icon on my phone now so that I can access it easily from my start page. We want people to tell us what they like and don’t like using the feedback option on the site.”