Info VP at TransLink, Bob Padden, has some follow-up to the Google presentation:

… the partnership with Google is just the beginning of an extensive push to ensure that TransLink has an engaging and effective web presence. 
Over the last year I have been leading a corporate-wide initiative called “E-Revolution” that has generated a comprehensive strategy that will see us rolling out online fare purchases, a system that will provide next scheduled bus, initially, and real time bus arrival as soon as the GPS and new bus communications system is installed (branded as MyBus), actual congestion information that estimates wait-time and finally, personalized travel alerts that will let you know if West Coast Express is delayed or there is a problem with your bus connections. 
In addition to the customer information, we will be engaging stakeholders and the public in on-line dialogue for policy development and project consultations (“TransLink Listens” now has over 5,000 subscribers across the region and its representation mirrors the accuracy of telephone surveys). 
Hey, we may soon be relevant in the cyberworld that is the 21st century.   

Comments

  1. Not really anything new or special. I find it especially intriguing that they don’t inform the public in any means possible that this “E-Revolution” is occurring. Congrats on the efforts, of course, but this falls quite short of what I would call a “comprehensive strategy”. Go visit my blog for a true extensive online strategy, including things like RSS feeds, mobile sites, blogging, podcasting, and more.
    I find it interesting that TransLink will *eventually* release a personalized bus schedules system. They have to face the fact however that such a system already exists and was done by outside developers. Ironically enough, it’s actually called MyBus (aka: TextBus), done by QuickMobile. View their ads on the fifth page or so of everyday’s 24 Hours.
    I suppose this does mean that ITS will be rolled out across the fleet, otherwise there’s not really a true “next bus” system in place. If other transit agencies can do it, why is TransLink stalling so long? The Main St. redo only finally got the ITS contract signed the other day, so I wonder how long it’ll be till the whole system gets it… Case in point, repainting all the buses to the “Sweep” identity haha.
    And I don’t see why in the world they would sell tickets online, unless the smart card is going to finally be put in. But last I heard, the report on a smart card system that was supposed to have initiated real development of it, well, it’s been shelved for the last couple of years.
    TransLink Listens has been a good start, but for true communication with transit users, you need more than an online survey. I mean, the current members of the Online Advisory Panel rarely even get any info back about the results of the survey!

  2. I wish I were confident that those who design our transit system USE our transit system. I wish they’d would give us more than lip service and window dressing about “consultation” How many of them spend up to 10 hours a week as a transit customer? As Gordon has often pointed out: BLT Boys Love Toys. The toys beloved by those who hold real power don’t often include buses, which is the mode the vast majority use. Kudos to Paul for his nuts and bolts knowledge of Translink and other systems, and specific ideas for improvement. I wish he worked for Translink!

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