EZRide buses will get GPS tracking in early October

MIT is still working to get GPS tracking to work on the EZRide Shuttle, which has taken over the job of the now-cancelled Northwest Shuttle. Live tracking and stop prediction will not be implemented until the first week of October according to Jeff Bennett, the project manager for the Charles River Transportation Management Association (CRTMA), the company that runs the EZRide.

In the meantime, this week the MIT Mobile app for the iPhone was updated this week to display the official schedule for the EZRide shuttles.

“We generally recommend having 15-30 days of historical data [before the tracking can accurately predict stop times],” said Thomas Noyes, director of business development at NextBus, Inc, the company that provides live tracking for MIT’s shuttle buses. These data will be used to create accurate predictions for the tracking system.

According to Noyes, the installation phase of the project was finished on August 13th, and bus drivers have been logging their schedules since August 24th.

Until tracking information is available to the public, the CRTMA plans to install the NextBus system in their spare buses and set up the phone server for call-in access.

Infrared optical sensors were installed in the doorways of EZRide buses when the tracking devices were installed. The information is already currently being fed into the CRTMA.

When the tracking information for the EZRide is finally released to the public, the XML used for feeding shuttle prediction data into apps like the MIT app will also be available for mobile app developers to use.

—Joanna Kao