Digital feature allows TART riders to estimate real-time pick-ups | SierraSun.com

Digital feature allows TART riders to estimate real-time pick-ups

Jenell SchwabSierra Sun
File photo Timing your ride on a TART bus is easier now with NextBus.
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TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Have you ever wondered if you missed the bus? Ever gotten cold feet while waiting? Ever had to plan your commute an hour or more ahead of time due to an abundance of summer construction?Well, thanks to a new component recently added to the Tahoe Area Regional Transit bus service, being on time to catch a ride on the North Shore just got a bit more convenient.This week, Placer Countyandamp;#8217;s Public Works Manager Will Garner announced TART has joined up with Nextbus, a Web-based GPS tracking system. The system allows patrons to learn estimated real-time arrivals of buses along individual routes by logging onto http://www.nextbus.com, then clicking on andamp;#8220;Find Your NextBusandamp;#8221; at the top of the page.TART is among about 90 bus services in the United States and Canada featured on the site. The system can be accessed from any Internet connection, and a free smartphone app is available to download on the website.Additionally, once the Tahoe City Transit Center slated for 64 Acres Park is up and running andamp;#8212; Garner estimates it will be in the fall andamp;#8212; the facility will have mounted electronic screens displaying the information for riders who are waiting.The Nextbus service costs $26,000 a year, said Garner, an expense that has been pre-paid up to 2018 with grants allocated to the transit center, as the cost for the Nextbus system was built into its budget.Itandamp;#8217;s an important upgrade to TART, which has an annual operating budget of $3 million, Garner said, providing about 450,000 rides a year.This year, ridership is down nine percent, Garner said, due to the lackluster winter conditions equating to fewer skiers and snowboarders needed a ride to the slopes.TART operates 15 buses daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. During summer months, two routes run until midnight. At any one time, TART employs 22 to 24 permanent and temporary employees, Garner said.