CTA Bus Tracker for Business – July 2011 – Connections – Chicago Transit Authority

CTA Bus Tracker for Business – July 2011 – Connections – Chicago Transit Authority


CTA’s Bus Tracker was designed as an easy
way for CTA customers to get information on estimated bus arrival times. Increasingly, businesses, universities and
even building managers are creating their own customized versions using the Do-It-Yourself
Bus Tracker system. (Music open) CTA’s Bus Tracker program is rising to new
heights at the Hollywood Towers condominiums on North Sheridan Road. Bus tracker is now available on an in-house
TV channel. “What we wanted to do is make it so convenient
for people. They could just turn on their TV set. So we’re actually broadcasting it
through our in house TV station a channel that we dedicated to the CTA Bus Tracker.” The Bus Tracker channel is “must-watch”
TV for many residents. “Whenever you get up in the morning or you’re
getting ready to go to work or shopping or whatever the case is, you just turn to the
channel. It’s very easy to find out ‘Oh my gosh! What’s the 147 going to do? What’s
the 151 going to do?” The Bus Tracker channel is on 24-hours a day
in the building lobby and on the building channel for tenants. Managers set up the channel using the Do-It-Yourself
Bus Tracker instructions on the CTA’s website. “They’ve made it so easy to use, so easy
to configure, and at Sudler Property Management and Hollywood Towers we’ve come together,
again to bring this type of technology to our residents and just put it right in their
living rooms.” “You do not want to be standing out in the
rain if you don’t have to.” Another Sudler property, the 26-26 Lakeview
Building, also features Bus Tracker on its in-house channel. “We have the bus tracker coming up every
two minutes or so because we intersperse that with information about the building.” “We needed something to keep people tuning
in and give them a reason to come back so we needed live content. Someone suggested
the bus tracker and since we’ve put that in it’s been a major hit for us.” Bus Tracker screens have been a customer perk
in coffee houses and other businesses in Wicker Park and Bucktown for several years. And they’re required reading for transit-smart
students at DePaul and Loyola Universities. “We started off at a couple of Universities
and a business district in Wicker Park and now we’re up to about 80 different locations
where the bus tracker information is available. “ One of those locations is Echo Global Logistics…a
transportation management company on the Near West Side. “Obviously a lot of the employees use the
CTA. Use the buses every day to get to and from work and when we heard about the CTA
Bus Tracker we thought it would be a natural and easy way, uh more efficient way of helping
the employees use the buses with having it on the screens.” JENNIFER HENRY
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL 15:42 “So if there’s 650 employees here
and the fact that the bus tracker screens are there has upped the use of transit by
a few percentage points, that translates into a lot of carbon saved, a lot fewer emissions.” The CTA partners with the Natural Resources
Defense Council to promote Bus Tracker to businesses. “It’s really simple. You can go to the
CTA website. There’s a link for the Bus Tracker for Business program which also has links
to either the Do It Yourself system or the automated program interface, API, and it will
literally take you as little as 5 minutes to set up and you’re good to go.” The application is easy to use….the information
is free…and the benefits to the environment are priceless. “ For building owners to put it in their
lobby or employers putting it up like this is a fantastic use.
So anything a company can do to encourage the use of transit by their employees and
make it more convenient and easy, great. And there are new developments to report regarding
the CTA’s Train Tracker program. The Train Tracker application program interface,
or API, is now available on the CTA’s Developer Center web page. That means any outside developer can create
a mobile application using the CTA’s Train Tracker information. Meanwhile, Train Tracker digital display screens
have been added to an additional 16 stations. A total of 29 stations now have the screens
detailing estimated train arrivals.