Published Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Updated Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 | 2:50 p.m.
The Regional Transportation Commission later this month will unveil a new mobile website accessible by smartphone that will enable users to determine when a bus will arrive at a stop.
The new “Ride Tracker” site will be available on Aug. 29, the date an upgraded RTC website will be launched. The new mobile site was developed internally by the RTC’s 15-person information technology staff.
“The fact that we have done this in house is absolutely huge,” said RTC General Manager Tina Quigley at Thursday’s board meeting.
Quigley said the agency had received estimates that outside IT professionals could develop an app or mobile site for $250,000 plus annual contracts of $100,000 to maintain and update it.
The mobile site will have free access, and Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, a board member, noted that it would not only benefit local bus-riding customers but tourists wanting to use public transportation to get around the city.
Here’s how the site will work: A user will enter a route number and a stop number posted at the stop location. The screen will show the route and location of buses on a Google map. Using predictive scheduling and GPS technology, the site will be able to show locations within one minute of a bus’s real-time location. Users can refresh the map to show whether a bus has fallen behind or caught up to its schedule.
The mobile site will be the RTC’s newest public service technology, joining Ride Text Alerts, a service that delivers text messages to users when a bus deviates from its scheduled timetable, and Freeway Traffic Alerts, which provides information about traffic flow on the city’s freeways and major arterials.
In other business, the board was introduced to the state’s newly appointed transportation director, Rudy Malfabon, currently NDOT’s top deputy in Southern Nevada.
Malfabon was appointed last month and will replace retiring NDOT Director Susan Martinovich. Thursday was Martinovich’s last RTC meeting, serving the board in an ex-officio capacity.
Malfabon, who will move to Carson City and take over the new post Sept. 6, said he hopes to have a new Southern Nevada deputy in place by the state Transportation Board’s Sept. 10 meeting.
The board also received a report from GB Henderson Education, a foundation that sponsored 56 students who developed a “Divide the Ride” campaign presentation that emphasizes alternative energy transportation. Students are overseeing a bus shelter design competition.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct Tina Quigley's title. | (August 10, 2012)