Monday, March 28, 2016

How much in salary does it take for GO Transit to finally roll out the TRACK MY GO BUS app? Good question, Daisy May

Howdy, Ms. Cindy!

Billy Bob here in St. Catharines.  Me and my missus, Daisy May, are hopin’ y’all are enjoyin’ yer Easter weekend.

Daisy May shuffled off to Alliston last weekend to visit her cousin, Bobbi-Jo.  When it was time to return home on Thursday, Daisy May said she was frettin’ somethin’ awful, cuz the freezin’ rain made a real mess of them local roads.

Bobbi-Jo laughed and told Daisy May to relax and promised Daisy May she’d get her the Churchill GO bus stop on time.  That puzzled my missus, who wondered aloud how Bobbi-Jo could be so sure.

Bobbi-Jo explained it this why, “We’re just gonna sit here, enjoy our coffee, and wait for the snow plow to go by.  Then we’re gonna follow the trail of fresh salt and sand.”  Well, Daisy May took that to mean she and her cousin was gonna sit in Bobbi-Jo’s car at the foot of the driveway waitin’ for the plow to roll by.

Apparently, Bobbi-Jo bust a gut when she heard that.  She explained to Daisy May they was gonna monitor the website and when a snow plow was comin’ their way, they’d hit the road.  Bobbi-Jo showed Daisy May that by movin’ the mouse pointer over a plow icon on the highway, they could see info about the plow in the “hover help” bubble that appeared.  Also, there was Environment Canada weather alerts down the right side of the screen that was specific to the part of the map bein’ viewed.  Down the left side Bobbi-Jo could tap into Twitter feeds from Ontario 511 and the OPP for late breakin’ road alerts.  Daisy May said she was blowed away by that new-fangled technology!

Now, Daisy May has a question.  If us folk can track snow plows, how come GO Transit ain’t delivered on their promise of real-time bus info that they made back in 2013?  We was supposed to have it in January 2014.  And it ain’t just me and Daisy May wonderin’ why GO Transit let us down again.  Just last month, Catherine Kelly chimed in on my first e-mail to you, Ms. Cindy.

Me and Daisy May got lookin’ at the latest Sunshine List, and we can’t figure out why the VP – Solution Development & Technology ($187K+), the Chief Information Officer ($186K+), the VP – GO Operations ($180K+), and the Director, Bus Services ($176K+) can’t put their heads together to fix whatever needs fixin’ and get this thing rolled out.  Daisy May says if she left her customers at the pizzeria waitin’ as long as these big wigs leave us hangin’, she’d be outta a job.

Daisy May has a suggestion for Metrolinx President & CEO ($361K+), Bruce McCuaig — it’s time for him and his top brass to come down from the Ivory Tower and get a dose of some “valuable insight into how customers experience the regional system“ by waitin’ at the stop when the bus don’t show.

Keep ridin’ them rails in style, Ms. Cindy, and we hopes yer bus ain’t late.

Best wishes,

Billy Bob


G said...

I said it before when this topic came up previously: the Presto system obviously requires GPS and communication ability, so the technology is already there. They just need to link it to a damn website. Apparently this is way too difficult for GO Transit to figure out.

Unknown said...

@G Sorry, but you're incorrect. The first-generation PRESTO BFTP devices do not have GPS or WAN communication built-in. The technology to enable bus tracking was added with INIT CAD/AVL (when digital signs and announcements started on buses).

Anon said...

GO has had AVL data long before automated announcements started. For a short time in 2012-2013 there was actually a hidden GO Tracker feature that added bus locations to the map. Sadly instead of making it public, they removed access as soon as they noticed people using it.

Unknown said...

@Anon You're correct -- apologizes for my imprecision. AVL was available for quite a while before the announcements/signs started working, though the same technology enabled both.