Category Archives: Real-Time Transit Tracker

OneBusAway Support For PSTA Ends 1/31/18

Update: As of 2/7/18, entries for the PSTA routes are still showing on OBA, but data is no longer being fed over to the interface. The entries will be removed entirely around 2/18/18, when PSTA performs its next GTFS update to coincide with the 2/18/18 service changes. As of 2/25/18, all PSTA GTFS data has been removed from OBA.

I first reported on March 24, 2016 that the OneBusAway interface for the Tampa Bay region began showing General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) in addition to data for Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART). The two were working together for a time on a common real-time transit tracking application that could one day be rolled out region-wide as part of the broader Regional Fare Collection Project.

However, since late 2017, I’ve learned that those collaboration efforts were coming an to end, partly because the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority (TBARTA) was unable to obtain funding needed to expand OneBusAway (OBA) functionality across Pasco, Hernando, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties. This effort was further complicated by the recent restructuring of TBARTA and other issues.

By the end of 2017, it was decided that while collaboration work would continue with Flamingo Fares Tampa Bay, work to bring the two agencies together on OBA would not proceed. HART decided to build upon OBA Tampa on its own, while PSTA officially endorsed the Transit App. Transit App works similarly to OBA, but with different functionality – including the ability to show Direct Connect zones, which PSTA heavily favors over OBA. Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) in the Long Island region of New York also uses the Transit App and has found much success with it so far.

Because the collaboration between HART & PSTA is coming to end when it comes to real-time transit tracking, PSTA will officially remove all of its GTFS data from OBA – for good – after Wednesday, January 31, 2018. PSTA customers who are needing to access real-time transit arrivals information will have access to one of the following avenues:

  • Clever Devices: The Clever Devices interface, which PSTA installed back in 2012, will remain in place. This includes the desktop site, electronic message boards at transfer points, InfoLine capabilities (by calling 727-540-1900), and automated on-board announcements.
  • Transit App: The Transit App for smartphones can be downloaded for both Android & iPhone users. The app is free to download and very easy to use. I will demonstrate how to use the app at a later date.

Please be sure to bookmark my website: globaltransitguidebook.com | Contact Me.

You can also find me on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | YouTube

Legalese | Disclosures

OneBusAway – PSTA

If you visited Hillsborough Area Regional Transit’s OneBusAway desktop website (http://tampa.onebusaway.org/enterprise/) this morning, you may have noticed something different.

PSTA's Route 59 on the HART OneBusAway desktop website.
PSTA’s Route 59 on the HART OneBusAway desktop website.

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority bus routes were indeed showing up on HART’s OBA interface, rather than HART’s own routes (though HART Routes 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 16, 30, 31, 33, 34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 45, 46, 57, 96, and 400-MetroRapid were all showing as they normally would, as well as some HART express routes). If you were using the mobile app for OBA, the situation was a lot less confusing, as both HART and PSTA routes showed up on the interface.

Now, while I can only guess that today’s occurrence was a test run of sorts, HART and PSTA have been working together for the past several months to bring OBA functionality over to Pinellas County, as part of a broader regional connectivity plan that will soon usher in the first stages of a regional smart card-based fare structure. So therefore, I also see today’s occurrence to be the next stage in preparations for the official launch of OBA in Pinellas, which is currently slated to happen sometime later this year.

Don't worry, PSTA's current "Real Time" interface, powered by Clever Devices, is not going away.
Don’t worry, PSTA’s current “Real Time” interface, powered by Clever Devices, is not going away.

For those wondering about PSTA’s current “Real Time” bus tracking system that is powered through Clever Devices, that system is here to stay. Instead, OBA will become an additional convenience for PSTA customers – especially those who utilize smartphones. Those of us who have utilized the Clever Devices interface know that if you’re using a smartphone, the only effective avenue to track buses in real time is the mobile “text-only” site.

With the preparations continuing for PSTA to join the OBA realm – which already includes the New York City MTA, Sound Transit, and Atlanta’s MARTA, in addition to HART – expect to see more great things from both agencies as we head towards the summer months. My only question now is, will the official launch of OBA (Pinellas) happen sooner than some of us think it will? Only time will tell on that I guess…


Please be sure to bookmark my website: hartride2012tampa.wordpress.com | Contact Me.

You can also find me on Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | YouTube

Legalese | Disclosures

The Travel Log by HARTride 2012 Facebook Group is now open!

OneBusAway arrives in Tampa!

For instructions on how to use the One Bus Away Tampa applications, click here to go to the HART website.

Back in March of 2013, I blogged about Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) getting onboard with real-time transit tracking software. Well folks! It’s almost time for the public roll-out of OneBusAway Tampa! In fact, the public launch will be tomorrow, August 19! And I am very excited to see HART officially enter the realm of real-time transit updates!

Continue reading OneBusAway arrives in Tampa!

HART introduces real-time transit updates! (beta mode)

Yes, I’m late on this one…but better late than never.

During the month of February; HART rolled out the beta version of its new real-time bus tracker. The software used by HART is OneBusAway, which is the same open-source GTFS software the the New York City MTA uses for its “BusTime” and “TrainTime” interfaces. I want to stress that because the application is still in beta mode, it is only accessible to those whom HART has handpicked to test out the service. There is no word as of yet when the final version will be released.

As you may know already; PSTA rolled out its own real-time bus tracker during the course of 2012. However, they use a different software program than HART does. Nonetheless, the use of these open-source software programs open a new avenue of opportunities for transit districts to provide transit scheduling information to passengers in real-time. These programs allow passengers to not only view schedules, but also track the status of their next bus. If the bus is delayed by more than 5 minutes, a notification will appear in the database letting passengers know that the bus is behind schedule.

If you would like to know how PSTA’s Real-Time program works, click here to visit their website. The same interface is used by the Chicago CTA.

If you would like to learn more about how HART’s application will work, click here to visit the NYCMTA website and look for the section that reads “MTA Travel Time”.

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Warmest Regards,

HARTride 2012

Merry Christmas & the Year-End Transit Roundup!

Hi everyone!

I know that I’ve been lagging behind on posting as of late. I’ve been trying to get into a regular schedule, but November and December have been much busier than I thought. Holiday event planning is definitely no easy task, and I’ve been having to help my family out with several different events that took place during the past couple months. Add to that; my computer problems during August and September, and my hiatus from earlier in the year. I know that in the end, I probably let down some of my viewers, and I sincerely apologize for that. I hope that with the new year, I can finally devote some time to make some major updates.

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, I would like to wish you, and your family a very Merry Christmas! I certainly hope that you are able to enjoy this wonderful day, no matter where you are located!

With all this said, I would like to take some time to reflect back on some of the major transit-related developments that occurred in 2012. I have grouped everything by month, and color coded each event as they pertain to the particular focus region that I cover in my blog.

BLUE: Tampa Bay (HART, PSTA, MCAT, SCAT, PCPT, Hernando THEbus, Citrus County Transportation)

GREEN: Orlando Area (LYNX, SunRail)

RED: Hampton Roads, VA (HRT)

TEAL: New York City, NY (NYCMTA)

PURPLE: Paris, France (RATP, STIF, SNCF)

Continue reading Merry Christmas & the Year-End Transit Roundup!

PSTA’s Real Time Bus Tracker & Arrival Information (the full version) is now online

I believe I had mentioned somewhere in a previous post regarding the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (or PSTA)’s new real-time bus tracker and bus arrival prediction systems. This is the same system that the Sarasota County Area Transit Authority (or SCAT) had been using for well over a year now. For the last few months, PSTA’s system had been in test mode. But now, the full version has been brought online and you can take a look at it now by visiting www.psta.net and selecting the banner at the top that reads “REAL TIME BUS INFORMATION”!

Now how exactly does the system work? It is a GPS-based system that utilizes equipment on each and every bus to provide GPS information to servers, which is then provided to the interactive interface on PSTA & SCAT’s websites. You can also access this information via a smartphone app or text message. See the full blog post from PSTA.

To get full instructions on how to use the new systems, please see the links below:

And this just in….HART has announced it will soon use similar real-time transit technology. Read their blog post!