Montgomery County is set to take the guess work out of catching your RideOn bus.
The county rolled out its new real-time bus tracking service on Wednesday - dubbed "Ride On Real Time" - in an effort to allow riders to get information on when buses will arrive at their stops. The system is available on the Internet, through text messaging and through smartphone apps.
Users can also sign up for custom email alerts based on their selection of routes, stops and times of bus service. The website, www.rideonrealtime.com, provides an interactive map that tracks the location of buses and gives estimated arrival times.
"Drivers who want to try transit as an alternative to sitting in traffic will be able to use Ride On Real Time to give them the information they need," Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said.
The rollout is the culmination of a year-long effort that included adding identification numbers to the majority of Montgomery County's 4,800 bus stops. Those ID numbers are used by the real-time system to determine the location of buses and provide bus arrival times.
Most of the city's buses have already been equipped with tracking hardware, while newer buses in the RideOn fleet will have equipment installed in the next few months.
The system is similar in style to the NextBus system that is already employed by WMATA in the greater D.C. area.