Summit County Government

Posted on: May 9, 2016

Summit Stage Launches SmartBus System

Screen shot of the Summit Stage app. Routes appear as colored lines on a map of Summit County.

New app allows riders to track buses in real time and easily navigate local public transit

Contact:
Jim Andrew, Transit Director
970-668-4161, jim.andrew@summitcountyco.gov

SUMMIT COUNTY – Public transit in Summit County is now easier than ever to use, thanks to a new SmartBus system that lets riders track the exact locations of their buses in real time. The system includes a mobile app that displays bus locations on a map and shows the user’s location relative to Summit Stage routes and bus stops.

“Whether you’re a regular Summit Stage rider or a visitor to Summit County who has never used public transit, this new SmartBus system makes it much easier to utilize our free buses as you travel throughout the community,” Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs said. “Someone who knows nothing about our transit system could open up the app, find the nearest bus stop, see where the next bus is on its route and get to the stop on time, all without ever having to look at a bus schedule.”

In addition to viewing bus locations, users can tap any bus stop on the map to get the estimated arrival times of the next two buses. Riders can also obtain ETAs via text message: Just text “ETA” and the stop identification number to 970-296-8111, and you’ll get a reply in seconds. Stop ID numbers are posted at each bus stop and listed across the top of each timetable on the Summit Stage schedule.

“You don’t see all that many free public transit systems across the country,” Summit County Transit Director Jim Andrew said. “By employing this technology, we’re making it far easier for people to take advantage of all the benefits of this great community asset.”

The Summit Stage’s new GPS-based SmartBus system is hosted by DoubleMap, which provides similar services for dozens of transit systems across the country. The mobile app is available for download from Apple's App Store and Google Play.

Maps with real-time bus locations can also be viewed in a Web browser on any device, including a personal computer, at summitstage.doublemap.com.

In addition to the mobile app, the new system includes automatic passenger counters, which provide data that will assist with optimization of routes and schedules to best meet the needs of Summit Stage riders. The system tracks the number of passengers that board and get off at each stop, allowing for detailed ridership analysis that wasn’t previously possible.

Behind the scenes, Summit Stage dispatchers are now using a computer-aided dispatch system, which enables them to manage vehicles and drivers throughout the transit system far more efficiently.

Later this year, the Summit Stage will install an onboard next-stop annunciation and display system and digital signs at transit centers that display bus arrival times.

“For those who aren’t very familiar with Summit County, the next-stop announcers and displays will be a big help. Riders will have a lot more information about their location along the route, as well as greater certainty that they’re getting off at the right stop,” Andrew said. “Even for those who do know our transit system well, it will be nice to hear the names of stops when it’s dark out or the windows are fogged up, and you can’t see outside.”

“Together, all these new technologies will make the Stage a stronger, more efficient public transportation system for riders, transit staff and decision-makers alike,” Commissioner Gibbs said. “We’re taking our customer service to the next level.”

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Summit Stage is Summit County’s free public transportation system, providing nearly 2 million passenger trips per year. Visit Summit Stage online at www.SummitStage.com.

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