Real-time Bus Info Reduces City Costs
September 17, 2013
Albuquerque- Mayor Richard J. Berry today announced an annual operational cost savings of about $180,000 to taxpayers through successful partnerships with the University of New Mexico and an Albuquerque-based app development firm. The cost savings comes through a drop of 120,000 transit-related telephone calls to the 311 Citizen Call Center.
Right now, bus riders can receive ABQ Ride bus location information through three services:
1. Where's My Bus - http://wmb.unm.edu/
2. The ABQ Ride mobile app https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/abq-ride/id532740870
3. TXT2RIDE texting service
Since the launch of these mobile-enabled services, transit-related call volume to the 311 service has dropped significantly.
"We are always looking to reduce costs and improve efficiency in our day-to-day operations at the City," Mayor Berry said at a news conference at the University of New Mexico. "Through technological innovation and support of the City's open-data initiative, we are improving City services for our customers."
Today, UNM President Robert G. Frank also detailed the expansion of the popular "Where’s my Bus?" app to include UNM’s shuttle service. The expansion of this app will help students quickly pinpoint the location of UNM shuttles that transport passengers to and from parking lots and bus stops on campus.
Frank also announced a new app contest that challenges students, faculty and staff to use the UNM’s Open Data Repository to create a new "Events" app to help find events scheduled nearby.
"Partnering with the city on apps that improve our services is a win-win endeavor," Frank said. "It benefits the community and our campus, but also provides great real world experience for our students who are developing and refining the technology for these applications."
All three ABQ Ride services use information from the City of Albuquerque's open-data initiative, ABQ Data, which was launched in June 2012. Future plans for technology development combined with public transportation include the rollout of the Android platform for the "ABQ Ride App" along with expansion of the puck system.