The Wheels on the Bus…

As of 11am this morning, buses in Brooklyn are telling the internet where they are.  And I’m proud to say that our work is behind it.

For the past several months, we’ve been working with the MTA on this one-line pilot, to demonstrate that it’s possible to achieve a workable bus tracking solution using existing hardware (in this case, farebox computers that will be rolled out citywide soon + GPS device + cell modem) and open source software (in this case, the excellent OneBusAway).  The hope is that this approach can work city-wide, and for a fraction of the cost of other approaches.

There is lots of good coverage out there in the blogosphere, particularly over at Second Avenue Sagas, which did an in-depth look prior to the launch, as well as a follow up post-launch.  You can also read our official reaction to the launch on the OpenPlans blog.

On a side note, in anticipation of some amount of attention related to the MTA launch, we also put up a new OpenPlans Transportation website today, showcasing our services and projects in the transportation space.  It’s nice to finally see the business that we’ve been building for the past year take a bit more shape.

I really love this photo — it is a huge honor to have something we worked on (in this case, the screen shot of the map behind the mobile phone) featured on an honest-to-god MTA transit ad.  That is super geeky, I know, but as a lifelong New Yorker and transit rider, it’s pretty cool.

Now, as Jeff Maki, our project manager for the MTA project, said on his way out of the office today: time to go to bed and dream about buses moving on a map…

// photo: Ben Kabak on Flickr

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