PTS to Offer Cat Tracker – Tracking System for Buses
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 13, 2011) – University of Kentucky employees, students and visitors looking for a ride around campus will soon have some high-tech alternatives to the traditional pocket bus schedule. UK Parking & Transportation Services (PTS) will soon offer Cat Tracker, a Global Positioning System (GPS)-based tracking for all CATS buses.
“PTS is excited to introduce bus tracking to UK’s campus,” said Don Thornton, director of Parking & Transportation Services. “We feel that the technology will be an excellent fit for our students, employees and guests, helping them to better utilize the bus service. Cat Tracker will also aid PTS staff to better understand the transit needs of campus.”
Cat Tracker will allow riders to track the buses from a computer or on-the-go. The service is updated in real-time, helping riders plan for delays caused by traffic, accidents or inclement weather. Cat Tracker will also help PTS administration provide better all-around bus service by providing reports on the efficiencies of each route.
In addition to visiting the Cat Tracker website, riders can track bus routes several other ways. TransLoc, the provider PTS selected through a competitive bid process, also offers free iPhone and Android apps, for on-the-go tracking of bus routes. Riders without smart phones can access route information via SMS message; each bus stop will be assigned a unique number which riders can use to receive text message updates on the buses arriving at that location. In addition, the sign at bus stops will feature a Quick Response code, or QR code, to help riders connect with buses. QR codes are matrix barcodes which can be scanned by cell phones with cameras; the QR code is then translated by one of various apps into the Cat Tracker website.
Along with Cat Tracker, PTS will also upgrade the CATS buses by installing automatic passenger counters. These will allow PTS to determine the popularity of each route and each stop, leading to an operation that best serves the needs of the university community.
Cat Tracker service is expected to begin this summer, with a full roll-out planned for the 2011 fall semester.