Sunday, May 30, 2010

Technology and the Art of transport

TriMet offers 'augmented reality' for riders with iPhones
By Joseph Rose, The Oregonian
May 26, 2010, 4:29PM

Not that it eases the pain of today's nickel fare increase and service cuts, but TriMet has just introduced another cool tool to catch the next bus.

Oregon's largest transit agency has hooked up with Junaio to bring information and scheduled to riders using "augmented reality."

By simply pointing their iPhones (yes, an Android version is coming) in a certain direction, the TriMet Channel on the Junaio 2.0 mobile augmented reality platform will round up the nearest transit stops and schedules.

The free service integrates transit data ranging from station locations, bus routes, to estimated arrival times into the TriMet channel on the junaio 2.0 mobile augmented reality platform.

You need at least an iPhone 3GS, which leaves Hard Drive out of the experiment. (We're still puttering away on out two-year-old iPhone 3G, at least for another month).

The app reportedly works by letting you pan around with your phone’s viewfinder and then marking nearby transit stops, distances, and real-time live schedules of upcoming transit.

“Augmented reality intuitively lays out transit information for our riders” says Bibiana McHugh, an IT manager for TriMet. “We are thrilled to have the augmented reality channel as another means of helping our riders get to their destinations.”

Go to the iTunes store to download the app.

Speaking of augmented reality, and fare rates, remember when an all-zones TriMet was just 65 cents in 1978? No?

Well, here's the recent history of TriMet fare increases:

* September 2004 $1.65

* April 2005 $1.70 (specifically for diesel)

* September 2005 $1.80 (5 cents for diesel; 5 cents for cost of doing business)

* January 2006 $1.95 (again, specifically for diesel)

* September 2006 $2.00

* September 2007 $2.05

* September 2008 $2.30

* September 2010 $2.35 (approved today)

-- Joseph Rose, Twitter: pdxcommute

1 comment:

  1. This new app, although seemingly unimportant, is just another step in raising sustainability in the area, and controlling sprawl. The ability for riders to catch the bus easier with technology will only increase ridership. I know personally waiting for the bus is a very time consuming and frustrating process. Now with the advent of technology we can overcome this and possibly move to a more sustainable (i.e. less polluted) Portland. Thanks for reading,