After months of gathering feedback from riders and the community, DASH will launch a new real-time bus tracker on Wednesday, July 1. The new DASH Tracker features improvements and innovations resulting from community feedback and focus groups. The new tracker will launch in beta, which will allow DASH to make further improvements based on feedback from users before the finished tracker is launched at a later date.
“This updated tracker is really the culmination of lots of direct input from our riders and the community on what we can do better to increase the availability and accessibility of information,” said DASH CEO/General Manager Josh Baker.
Classic Tracker will remain temporarily available after the new DASH Tracker launches. This will allow riders time to adjust to the new DASH Tracker and explore its features. Some of these features are listed below.
- Mobile Friendly: The new DASH Tracker is mobile optimized with larger text and buttons.
- Three-in-One: In addition to DASH, the new Tracker will display bus arrivals and service alerts for Metrobus and DC Circulator.
- Improved Prediction Accuracy: Tracker now uses a new algorithm to create real-time bus arrival predictions. These predictions are based on bus GPS locations, but they also account for the bus’s speed and historic traffic conditions on the route. Location information is automatically updated every 15 seconds instead of every 30 seconds, providing more up-to-date predictions for users.
- Nearby Routes: DASH Tracker can use mobile phones’ location services to show nearby routes and stops so that riders can always find their bus, even in a new part of town. Improved Searching: In addition to finding a bus by selecting a route, direction of travel, and bus stop, Tracker has added a new search feature. Riders can simply type in a street, intersection, place or route to get started.
- Service Alerts: Tracker automatically pushes service alerts to other programs like the Transit App.
- Improved Information: Tracker now shows how many miles and stops buses are away from riders as well as the predicted arrival time.
Additional features are planned but will not be available when the new Tracker launches in beta in July. These include a more user-friendly map view as well as the option to have bus arrival information sent directly as text messages or have arrival information read aloud through an interactive voice tracker. These features are aimed at making Tracker and real-time bus arrival information more accessible and will be finished when the new Tracker officially launches.