There is some good news out of the transit agency world this morning. UW, Metro, Sound Transit, and Pierce Transit are teaming up to keep next bus away running for the long term! The future of this incredibly useful tool which transit riders across the Puget Sound have grown to love was in doubt for a while. Fear not fellow transit riders, One Bus Away is here to stay.
Here is the full release from Sound Transit:
Popular transit schedule application to continue after student creator moves on
Puget Sound area transit agencies have reached an agreement with the University of Washington to keep the popular transit scheduling software application One Bus Away up and running now that the original developer – a UW graduate student – has moved on to the private sector.
Sound Transit, King County Metro, Pierce Transit and the UW through its Washington State Transportation Center and Department of Computer Science and Engineering will fund up to $150,000 to further develop and maintain the application for 13 months.
The application, available over the internet, for iPhone and Android devices and as SMS message alerts is available for free and has become a valuable tool for thousands planning transit trips throughout the region. The application tells users when their bus is expected to arrive at their stop in real time.
The transit agencies and UW will continue investigating other real-time transit information technologies to keep riders better informed about transit options.
UW computer science graduate student Brian Ferris and Kari Watkins developed the first versions of One Bus Away as a class project. The project grew into a collection of phone applications and Ferris’ PhD. project.
Today the service is used more than 50,000 times a week. Ferris graduated earlier this year and now works for Google in Zurich on mapping and navigation technology services.