Blacksburg Transit (BT) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have partnered with two local technology companies, Automation Creations, Inc. (ACI) and Nomad Mobile Guides, to develop a new mobile application for transit customers. This project is made possible by a recent Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) grant award from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The goal of the project and the associated mobile app is to improve the scheduling and assignment of buses in order to reduce environmental impact and operating costs and improve the customer experience.
In addition to improvements to route management and resource deployment, the app will provide a variety of benefits to transit customers including: trip planning with recommended routes and reminders, live updates on bus locations and capacities, alerts and schedule change information, and user reporting of maintenance and other issues.
David Poteet, President of New City Media and Nomad Mobile Guides said, “We’ve already had great insights from both students and professionals. The goal is an app that makes daily life in Blacksburg that much easier. We want people to trust the BT app to always give them the best information to get where they need to go.”
Henry Bass, President of Automation Creations, said “This partnership is a win for everyone. The app gives Blacksburg citizens a great tool, gives the VTTI much-needed data, and helps BT optimize their bus schedules. We are delighted to work with Nomad Mobile Guides, a neighbor of ours and frequent collaborator in the VT Corporate Research Center.”
The application is scheduled for an initial limited-feature public release in Spring 2014 with the remaining features to be added before the Fall 2014 semester.
Nomad Mobile Guides develops location-aware mobile apps for travel and other markets. Expertise includes creating intuitive user experiences, often in high usage situations where you can’t always count on a good internet connection. Automation Creations has expertise in database development, enterprise web applications, and project management as well as mobile apps. Both companies have been located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center since the mid-1990’s.
The story of this partnership was also covered by WSLS 10: