Mayor Chris Beutler today unveiled the City's new Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) website that will enable StarTran riders to go online and track the location of their bus. Riders can now log on to getonboard.lincoln.ne.gov to track when and where their bus will stop. They will also be able to set up alerts for a specific route.
"Many people in our city rely on our bus system to get to work, to the doctor or to the grocery store," said Mayor Beutler. "Whether you ride by choice or by necessity, using the city's bus system should be easy and enjoyable. The technology behind our new Automatic Vehicle Locator program and the corresponding tracking website will let everyone quickly find their boarding location, track the status of their bus, and arrive at their destination on time. Now, instead of wondering where their bus is, StarTran patrons can simply log on and track it."
Existing AVL technology currently allows StarTran to track the location of all their buses, enabling them to ensure that buses run on time, on route and provide alerts regarding emergency situations. The AVL system also affords several other features, including interior location announcements and schedule status at bus stop locations. The new AVL website will offer a comparable system to the public so they also may track their bus and route to determine when it will get to their boarding location and arrival destination.
StarTran patrons will have the ability to set up alerts for five to 60 minutes prior to arrival at a specific location. Riders pick the route, the stop location, the stop time, the time to be alerted and how often they want to receive the alert. Up to 15 alerts can be set. The map updates automatically every 15 seconds. The website's search feature will enable riders to find a route by typing in a cross street which will bring up locations to choose from and the corresponding arrival times.
All StarTran buses are equipped with the AVL technology. The cost for the total AVL system is $1.5 million, which is funded by federal grant dollars.
Mayor Beutler and StarTran officials also announced the arrival of the City's 13 new 25-foot hybrid-powered buses that will be used for Handi-Van service, downtown shuttles and neighborhood routes. The new buses, powered by a combination of gasoline and electricity, offer a 20 to 30 percent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions. They cost $118,000 each – $64,000 funded with federal stimulus dollars and the rest paid for by federal and local transportation funds. The vehicles operate on electrical power up to 35 mph. The gasoline engine recharges the batteries and provides power at higher speeds.