Program tracks buses in SLO

Gone are the days of standing in the cold, toe-tapping while waiting for a bus to arrive.

A new program that launched last week in San Luis Obispo allows users to track bus locations online in real time.

The $405,000 Automatic Vehicle Location system, passed by the City Council in April 2009, was funded by federal money allotted to the city through the stimulus spending approved by Congress.

About 1 million riders use SLO Transit buses annually — about 600,000 of them are Cal Poly students, according to city officials.

Bus riders can also register for automatic alerts of when their desired bus is within minutes of arriving. Options include alerts from five minutes to 60 minutes of actual arrival time.

Those alerts can be delivered directly to the registrant’s Web browser, by e-mail or by text message to a cell phone.

Visit www.slocity.org/publicworks/transit.asp to access the new program.

The online map shows buses represented on a city map as small blue and white icons. Bus locations are updated automatically, every few seconds.

Bus stops are shown on the map as small green and white icons. The next two arrival times of buses are included on the map and can be seen by placing the cursor over the bus stop.

Other online features include a trip planner via Google Transit, a function of Google Maps.

The tools allow users to choose their start and end points and map which routes they will need to take, including departure and arrival times.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.