Wondering where your bus is, the answer will soon be a phone call away. Tri Delta Transit’s AVL system is currently available to the public at 32 wayside information signs at 32 bus stops as well as through a live operator at their route information number. Installation of the electronic scrolling signs at the Pittsburg BART station bus loading area will begin once BART gives Tri Delta final approval. BART will also install electronic signs inside the fare gates so that you can determine whether a fast walk or a sprint is necessary to catch the next bus. Tri Delta has been working with BART for over twelve months to get approval. Real time arrival information will be available via smart phone and the internet beginning August 15.
AVL or “Next Bus” system stands for Automatic Vehicle Location. It combines a GPS receiver with a wireless radio for providing location of a vehicle to a dispatcher. The AVL unit is usually installed inside a vehicle. The GPS receiver in the AVL unit receives GPS signals continually and computes the current position of the vehicle. The system will provide actual bus arrival times for Tri Delta customers via text messages, voice message, the website, and electronic signs at some stops. Each bus stop will be marked with an individual ID number. From any cell phone, you can call their information line and input that ID number using your telephone keypad. You will then receive real time arrival information for your bus. It will sound something like this… “Route 388 Westbound will arrive at your location in approximately 4 minutes.”
The next step in the process will be to integrate with 511.org. 511 is a one-stop phone and web source for up-to-the-minute transportation information from anywhere in the nine-county Bay Area. Although Tri Delta’s system is functioning the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the organization that controls the site, has as of yet been unable to complete the integration. Tri Delta has been told they are “next in line”, but a time line has not been proposed.