Knoxville Area Transit (KAT) is pleased to announce the long-awaited availability of KATbus Tracker – a real-time bus tracking and trip planning app now available for Android and iPhone users. The app allows users to find their bus on a map in real time, plan trips, save favorite stop locations, and find out about detours and other alerts. Using the bus GPS system, the app is able to estimate the arrival time at the stop selected by the user. The app is free to download and was produced in partnership with Clever Devices Ltd.
This app is the second part of a passenger technology roll-out for KAT, with the first being the real-time texting feature released in January of this year. Each bus stop in the KAT system (over 1,200) has a unique stop ID number; texting that stop number to #22827 provides immediate next bus estimates back to the user.
“This tracking technology is an essential element for transit passengers,” says Melissa Roberson, Interim Director of Transit for the City of Knoxville. “Knowing how soon your bus will arrive, and also seeing it on a map provides a new level of comfort when riding transit. It is incredibly reassuring to know that the bus hasn’t already passed you by, and even better, when it’s coming.”
KAT’s theme for the roll-out of the KATbus Tracker App is ‘It’s about time.
“We love this slogan, because a real-time app is all about more efficiently using your time and knowing what time the bus will arrive. But thought of another way, we acknowledge that the public has been asking for an app like this for several years, so in that sense, it’s also about time,” says Roberson.
KAT is hopeful that passengers will take full advantage of this new app. If the data from the earlier release of the texting feature is any indication, the app should be popular. In February alone, 730 individuals sent 6,131 next-bus text requests from 502 different bus stop locations. The texting numbers continue to climb.
“Transit can be intimidating if you’ve never used it before,” says Roberson. “This app helps alleviate the concern of where the bus is, which is a huge step in encouraging people to hop on board.”