This week’s Good Question comes from William Lindeke (@BillLendeke), who asked: Why don't we have NexTrip technology on the METRO Blue Line?
Adding NexTrip to light rail on the METRO Blue Line has been a lower priority than adding it to buses. This is because light-rail trains operate most hours of the day – typically every 10 minutes – and are very rarely delayed due to weather or traffic congestion (on-time performance is 95 percent).
However, NexTrip will be added to the Blue Line next year as technology upgrades are implemented for the METRO Green Line. When installed, the system will display real-time departure times on existing digital signs at every station platform on the Blue and Green lines.
NexTrip information is also accessible by calling 612-373-3333 and at metrotransit.org. Third-party developers who use the GPS-based data from buses and Northstar trains to build their own mobile apps can incorporate real-time departure information into their software as well.
NexTrip technology was introduced to Metro Transit customers in 2008 and has been available for all Metro Transit buses and most regional buses since 2009; Northstar was added to the system in 2012. The system uses GPS technology on vehicles to track their location and predict departure times.
NexTrip displays are currently installed on Marq2, regional Park & Ride lots, select transit centers and the Union Depot in St. Paul. Future plans call for the use of NexTrip displays on Arterial Bus Rapid Transit corridors, including Snelling Avenue.
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