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City buses now tracked by GPS-based web program

Grande Prairie’s transit users can now find their bus at the click of a button. The city has installed GPS on all 21 in its fleet at a cost of about $250,000. Transit Manager Jason Henry explains that residents can use a smart phone, tablet or computer to check arrival time predictions.

“As long as you have an internet connection, and as long as you have an address that you’re standing at or even a bus stop number, punch it in and it will tell you when the next three buses will come.”

The real-time technology means riders can verify the location of their next bus. However, Henry says it can’t be used to map out a trip.

“It’ll only tell you where the bus you’re looking for is; it won’t tell you how to get to Costco from your house. You’ll have to select the correct route, so we also have Google Transit, which is a trip planner, so you can type in, ‘I want to get from this address to Costco,’ and it will tell you.

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Both features are available on the city’s website. Henry says they don’t have any plans to develop an app, but notes the data is open and free for the public to access and use.

The next move the city is making using smart technology will be electronic fare collection. Residents will also be able to fill up their transit pass using a computer.

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