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Technology FAQ

Where's My Bus?

How come my route is not showing a bus?   The GPS data is transmitted through a Motorola Digital Radio.   Occasionally a route may be scheduled with a bus that is not currently equipped with a radio.  We do try to schedule buses that have the radio but there may be times when one is not available and a bus without a radio is put out.   

My route will be displaying a bus, then it disappears, and a minute or two later is shows back up, why?  Occasionally a bus may not send a timely GPS update to the Bus Tracker.  One potential reason as to why could be that a mountain shadow or building blocked the signal when it was due to update.  If the Bus Tracker does not get a new coordinate update within 2 minutes, it will take the prior information down and then reposts information when it gets its next update. Generally the system runs great, but we are working to try to get some little kinks figured out.  We appreciate your patience.  

I was standing at the bus stop when it showed the bus was arriving and a bus did not come, why? There is a slight delay of data transmission as it goes through the internet, generally this delay is between 1-2 minutes. The radio sends GPS coordinate updates every 30 seconds and then the information is pushed through the internet for display on the Bus Tracker.  "Where's My Bus?"  is intended for a general idea of when the bus will arrive. The Free Ride is not responsible for any delays of data transmission through the Internet. We highly recommend that you still plan to arrive at your bus stop a couple of minutes early in advance of the scheduled stop time or estimated arrival time shown on the Bus Tracker.  Arriving early is the only way to guarantee your ride.

What are the red dots on the Bus Tracker screen?  Those are the locations of bus stops.  If you click on one, a window will open up that shows the bus stop name, the route or routes serving that bus stop, and the estimated arrival time of the next bus.

Where do I get my app?   There are links in the upper right hand corner of the Bus Tracker or you can search Google Play or the iTunes App Store for "Ride Systems"

Bus Times by Text

I sent a text message and I got a reply that said "no vehicles on route", why?  There are three possible answers.  The first is the text may not have been sent correctly.  You must text BFR (which is our key code that lets the system know which transit agencies data to send) then a space needs to be put between the key code and the stop id code. For example, "BFR 212" (without quotes) is what needs to be texted. 

If you sent the text correctly and got a reply that stated no vehicles on route, then the second potential reason may be that there is not a vehicle on route that is equipped with a radio today -or - you are sending the text after our normal service hours. Refer to the Free Ride schedule for our operating hours. 

The third possible explanation is that you may have texted at the exact very moment that an update was being sent and your message got hung up.  By sending a second text, you may get a reply with the estimated next arrival time.  

I was standing at the bus stop when my text reply showed the bus was arriving or would be there in 1 minute and a bus did not come, why? There is a slight delay of data transmission as it goes through the internet, generally this delay is between 1-2 minutes. The radio sends GPS coordinate updates every 30 seconds and then the information is pushed through the internet for display on the Bus Tracker.  The text system utilizes the same data as the Bus Tracker.  Arriving early is the only way to guarantee your ride.

"Where's My Bus?" and "Bus Times by Text" is intended for a general idea of when the bus will arrive. The Free Ride is not responsible for any delays of data transmission through the Internet. We highly recommend that you still plan to arrive at your bus stop a couple of minutes early in advance of the scheduled stop time. Please use our Interactive Schedule to find out the scheduled service time for a particular stop.  Many stops likely have a timetable sign on the back side of the sign showing the Text code for reference as well.  

Interactive Schedule

I downloaded the Route Shout app and it doesn't seem to work right on my device, why?  The developer has not updated it since 2010 and it likes some smart devices better than others.  We highly recommend that people bookmark the mobile site for our platform http://m.routeshout.com for the best results. The mobile site works really great and it is a powerful tool.

I used the "locate me" feature and the Google Map placed me in a spot other than my actual location, why? The interactive schedule can only provide what Google has programmed into Google Maps for location data. There must be an error on Google's end.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  If you still need help, please call our Transit Hotline at (970) 547-3140 and we would be happy to try to orient you with the transit system.

General

You must be spending a lot of money on this new technology?  Traditionally the only way someone could transmit their GPS data was either through cellular telphone or satellite time and both of those technologies are expensive. We are using the Motorola MOTOTRBO radio system to receive our GPS data transmission for free. The back-end for Where's My Bus? and Bus Times by Text are a minimal annual support cost.  We also prepare our general transit feed specification files (coordinate data of bus stops, shapes of the bus routes, and schedules) in-house.

There must be a lot more than you could do with this technology?   Absolutely.  We are doing this in project phases and what we have now is hopefully just the beginning.  Ultimately, we hope to someday have some outdoor electric screens at key locations to display bus information.  

Where do I send my comments about your transit technology?  You can email us through our contact page or call the Transit Hotline at (970) 547-3140.  The Transit Manager is happy to discuss the technology with you.

 

 

Last updated: 2/6/2014 10:31:43 AM