Nashville MTA unveils new tracking technology for bus system
Public invited to beta test real-time information during soft launch phase
NASHVILLE – Customers now have an opportunity to see where their buses are in “real-time” on their smart phones during Nashville MTA’s soft launch of the Music City Transit Tracker (MCTT), a new automatic vehicle locator system.
“It is great to see MTA’s focus and dedication to providing a real-time tracking system for Nashville’s bus riders, and we are now ready for the public to test drive this real-time information,” Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said. “I’m looking forward to trying it out myself and hope it will result in more people having the chance to experience what our public transit system has to offer.”
The new tracking technology is available to the public for beta testing and feedback now as the Nashville MTA makes final tweaks to the system before the full launch of the new system in late January.
“This is an important next step for our transit system and our desire to make the system more relevant for riders,” Nashville MTA Board Chair Marian Ott said. “The launch of the Music City Transit Tracker is vital to meeting the growing demands from our customers for immediate, real-time information.”
The Nashville MTA also is making data from its real-time tracking system available to third-party entities and has been working with Vanderbilt University Researchers at Institute for Software Integrated Systems on an app called Transit Hub or T-Hub, and with developers at Transit App throughout the implementation of the MCTT system. In addition to pushing out the data to these two, Nashville MTA has shared the data with Google Maps, which is now providing the real-time information to customers.
“We believe it is important to share this information provided by our Transit Tracker system with Google, Transit App, and Vanderbilt researchers to broaden the distribution of the real time information and increase the accessibility of the technology to additional market segments,” Nashville MTA CEO Steve Bland said.
In the near future, Nashville MTA plans to make the real-time information available to other third parties in the technology sector so that additional customer-friendly apps for riders can be developed.
The transit agency's investment in this new technology from Trapeze Group, a transportation solutions company, will not only improve the experience for current riders, it will ensure that the transit system will stay relevant and resilient as Nashville grows.
Once the MCTT system is fully-operational customers will be able to see when the next bus will arrive at their stop – in real time – via the MCTT app, T-Hub app, Transit app, digital signs at the Music City Central transit station, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lite stations or Nashville MTA’s traditional and mobile websites and the IVR phone feature.
“Not only do we believe this new technology will be an exciting new addition for our current riders, but we hope it will open the door to prospective riders utilizing our system,” Bland said.
MTA’s Music City Transit Tracker app is now available for download in Google Play and pending in Apple Store. Transit App is available via both Google Play and the Apple Store. Vanderbilt University’s T-Hub app is pending in both Google Play and in the Apple Store.