Upgrade aims to make Metro Transit trip-info app more accurate

Metro Transit has upgraded its NexTrip system with software that’s designed to provide real-time schedule information to riders with a higher degree of accuracy.

The new software went live last week and is the first major upgrade to the system in about a decade, said Laura Matson, Metro Transit’s program manager of real-time customer information.

“It’s important to the customers,” Matson said. “It’s frustrating when it doesn’t work and we are trying to improve the experience of using transit. We respect their time.”

NexTrip now also includes arrival and departure times for buses operated by SouthWest Transit, Maple Grove Transit and Plymouth Metrolink.

Millions access NexTrip annually to find out when their bus or train is supposed to arrive, but until now the system has been accurate only 65 to 70% of the time. With this upgrade, NexTrip should have a batting average of 80% or better, Matson said.

NexTrip previously relied on a bus’ GPS unit to determine its location and predict how long it would take to reach the next time point. Information was updated every eight seconds.

But the system was unable to factor in variables such as weather, traffic jams or how much time a bus spends picking up and dropping off passengers, all of which influence trip times.

The new software, developed by Cambridge Systematics Inc., is smarter, Matson said. It has more input points and can draw on historical data to recognize how long it has taken previous buses on a route to pass specific checkpoints, and then incorporate that data to make predictions.

NexTrip pushes information to a variety of platforms, including real-time signs at bus stops, Metro Transit’s website, and its automated phone system and texting feature. The information is also supplied to the third-party Transit app. With the upgrade, NexTrip data also will be available soon on Apple and Google maps.

Another enhancement provides riders with information about stop closures and trip cancellations, services not available before on NexTrip.

Metro Transit has a four-year, $972,000 contract with Massachusetts-based Cambridge Systematics, and more improvements may be coming. Matson said Metro Transit is looking to see how it can give riders information about how crowded a bus is, an important issue since the agency is trying to limit capacity on buses during the pandemic.

“We continue to explore more inputs and see how we can improve the customer experience,” Matson said.

Electric buses back on C Line

Electric buses are rolling again on the $37 million C Line, the rapid bus route linking downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center via Olson Hwy. and Penn Avenue.

The agency took eight buses off the line last fall when there were issues with chargers at the Brooklyn Center Transit Center (BCTC). The electric buses were among the first deployed by Metro Transit.

The 60-foot buses get a full charge when they’re parked at the Heywood Garage overnight. Chargers at the BCTC provide a boost to ensure buses make it through the day.

The chargers needed to be retooled, and that work has been completed by the manufacturer, New Flyer of America. Metro Transit spokeswoman Laura Baenen said the repairs were covered by a warranty with New Flyer.

 

Follow news about traffic and commuting at The Drive on startribune.com. Got traffic or transportation questions, or story ideas? E-mail [email protected], tweet @stribdrive or call Tim Harlow at 612-673-7768.

rn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup-optimizely/start"},{"id":"limit-signup","count":12,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":{"template":"{% extends "grid" %}rnrn{% block heading_text %}Youu2019ve read your 10 free articles for this 30 day period. Sign up now for local coverage you wonu2019t find anywhere else, special sections and your favorite columnists. StarTribune puts Minnesota and the world right at your fingertips. {% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rn{# limit Krux pixel from https://www.squishlist.com/strib/customshop/328/ #}rnrnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit-signup/start"},{"id":"meter-desktop-331","count":10,"action":"ignore","mute":false,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/meter-desktop-331/start"},{"id":"PDA991499opt","count":9,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/PDA991499opt/start"},{"id":"limit","count":8,"action":"inject","mute":false,"action_config":{"template":"

rnrnrnrn

rn

rn

rn rn

rn t

rn SUBSCRIBErn Already a subscriber? Log in.rn

rn

All Star Tribune readers without a Digital Access subscription are given a limited number of complimentary articles every 30 days. Once the article limit is reached we ask readers to purchase a subscription including Digital Access to continue reading. Digital Access is included in all multi-day paper home delivery, Sunday + Digital, and Premium Digital Access subscriptions. After the 1 month Premium Digital Access introductory period you will be charged at a rate of $14.99 per month. You can see all subscription options or login to an existing subscription herern

rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn

rn"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/limit/start"},{"id":"nag","count":7,"action":"lightbox","mute":true,"action_config":{"height":null,"width":"630px","redirect_on_close":null,"template":"{% extends "shell" %}rnrn{% block substyles %}rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block page %}rn{#rnrn{{ limit - count - 1 }}rnrn{{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.btn('Save Now') }}rn{{ form.flow_form_close() }}rnrn

rnrnrnu2022 rnrnrnrn#}rn

rn

rn

You have {{ limit - count - 1 }} articles left

rn

rn rn u00a0u00a0u2022u00a0u00a0rn rn

rn

rn

rn

rn Save More Todayrn

Over 70% off!

rn

rn

rn

rn

99u00a2 for first 4 weeks

rn {{ form.flow_form_open({nextAction: 'firstSlide'}, null, null, '_top') }}rn {{ form.button('Save Now', 'btn nag-btn') }}rn {{ form.flow_form_close() }}rn

rn

rn{% endblock %}rnrn{% block last %}rn{{ parent() }}rnrn{% endblock %}"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/nag/start"},{"id":"x","count":4,"action":"ignore","mute":true,"action_config":false,"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/x/start"},{"id":"multi-start","count":3,"action":"fly_in","mute":true,"action_config":{"location":"bottom_left","slide_direction":"bottom","group_id":null,"display_delay":"0","collapse_delay":"10","template":"

rn

rn

rn

rn u00d7rn

rn

rn

From just

rn

$3.79 99u00a2 a week

rn Save nowrn

rn

rn

"},"start":"https://users.startribune.com/placement/1/environment/3/multi-start/start"}]};

Source Article

Next Post

Holistic Industries Closes $35M Debt Financing Deal With Altmore Capital

Wed Sep 16 , 2020
© Provided by Benzinga Holistic Industries, a vertically-integrated cannabis operator in the U.S., closed $35 million in debt financing in an oversubscribed round of funding led by Altmore Capital. The company’s regional approach and local focus allow for expansion while maintaining the company’s core values and goal to be the best […]