New CityBus feature provides real-time access to bus arrivals

October 21, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - CityBus of Greater Lafayette, which provides busing service on the Purdue University campus and in the local community, has introduced a new service that gives users real-time access to how long they must wait for their ride.

MyRide estimates the time the next bus will depart from any bus stop on campus or in the cities of Lafayette and West Lafayette, based on the bus's actual location.

"This system gives customers a tool that helps alleviate worry while they're waiting for a bus, said John Metzinger, CityBus's development manager. "How many times have you waited at a bus stop in the rain or cold wondering when the next bus is going to be there? This will allow you to see you have three minutes, four minutes, or however long the wait is."

The system is available through text messaging. Text the MyRide QuickCode to the number 25252 to receive real-time estimates. MyRide QuickCodes are displayed on the bus stop sign and are available on the route's stop list. Standard text messaging rates could apply, and users should call their cell phone provider to verify their plan.

A smartphone application is available for Droid and Apple iPhone, and when the user installs RouteShout, it uses the location of the phone to show the closest bus stops. The system also is available on the CityBus website at http://www.gocitybus.com/

"The single largest request that I receive from students relating to CityBus is to make the timing of routes more concise, intuitive and readily available," said Purdue Student Government President Brad Krites. "With the ability to receive an automated text message with the next available pick-up time for any particular bus stop, I believe that we will see more students taking advantage of this service."

In some instances, the MyRide QuickCode that was printed previously on a stop sign may have changed. A complete stop list for each route is available on the routes schedule information page on the CityBus website by clicking "see bus stop list."

MyRide QuickCodes around campus academic locations include: Armstrong Hall, Bus190; Physics building, BUS557; Electrical Engineering, BUS538; Purdue Memorial Union on State Street, BUS271; Marstellar Street and State Street at the northeast corner, BUS313NE; Stewart Center, BUS448; Class of 1950 Lecture Hall, BUS435; University Hall, BUS565N; Stone Hall; BUS560NW; Beering Hall, BUS389; Lawson Hall, BUS486N; Aviation Technology Building, BUS146; Lynn Hall on Harrison Street, BUS324.

QuickCodes for residence halls and housing include: McCutcheon Hall on McCutcheon Drive, BUS491 E; Hillenbrand Hall on 3rd Street, BUS470S; Beering and Tower drives, BUS313S; Hilltop and Tower drives, BUS472S; Circle Pines on David Ross Road, BUS553; MacArthur Drive and 1st Street, BUS282NE; Gates Road and Nimitz Drive, BUS543SE.

Parking lot QuickCodes include: Discovery Park, BUS249; Ross-Ade Stadium, BUS426.

"Purdue Student Government has long pursued increases in the technology of the campus transit system," Krites said. "Between hybrid vehicles, a route-planning feature using GoogleMaps, and an automated texting service, we are very pleased and impressed with the changes that have been made."

CityBus runs on campus during the academic year from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays; from 6 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. on Fridays; 7 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Saturdays and on a limited schedule on Sundays.

Carol Shelby, senior director of Environmental Health and Public Safety, reminds the Purdue community that CityBus is free for students, faculty and staff with a Purdue identification card. 

Writer:
Jim Bush, 765-494-2077; jsbush@purdue.edu

Sources:  Carol Shelby, senior director of Environmental Health and Public Safety, 765-494-7504, cshelby@purdue.edu|
                 John Metzinger, 765-420-2948; john@gocitybus.com
                 Brad Krites, bkrites@purdue.edu