Imagine this: You are walking around the Galleria and want to go to Discovery Green for a concert. But you’re not sure what bus to take.
In a few months, you’ll be able use your smart phone to find METRO bus stops, schedules, and eventually real-time, next-bus arrivals.
The free app is expected to be available in November or December. It will work on iPhones/iPads; Androids and later, Windows phones.
The app will be called Houston T.R.I.P. “TRIP” stands for- transit route information and planner. The name was suggested by Marie Turner, METRO Customer Care business analyst.
We expect to update the app with next-bus arrivals once we complete our Safe Bus program in late 2012.
This app joins Ride Houston, which points you to the nearest stop, in Metro’s stable. With these apps, you’ll never be like poor Charlie:
I just wanted an excuse to embed that. Anyway, as Greg points out, you can already use Google Maps to find bus stops and schedules. You have to zoom in pretty far to see the bus stops, but they’re there, and clicking on the little bus icon will tell you the route number (or numbers, if more than one bus stops there) and the scheduled times. What’s missing, or at least what I couldn’t find, is a way of seeing the route overlaid on the map. Perhaps the TRIP app, which is free to download, has that; the Metro blog post doesn’t say. The future enhancement of realtime bus arrival info will be a true step forward. Now we just need WiFi on the buses and we’ll be all set.