Wouldn't it be cool if you put on a pair of Google Glass and it told you exactly when and where the bus was coming? Apparently the City of Detroit is the first to get this technology, approved by a city council that hasn't even met formally yet!
Detroit City Council President Pro Tem George Cushingberry, Jr., has been hitting social media hard in every sense of the word, but he can't do it alone. A blog called "Friends of George Cushingberry, Jr." quietly revealed — I guess? — plans from city administration to make the Detroit Department of Transportation more efficient through GPS tracking.
By implementing GPS tracking, something I'm sure that Mayor Mike Duggan has to approve through Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, riders will have an easier time knowing arrival times, delays and other events.
Citing a January 7 "test of the bus system recently conducted by the Friends of George Cushingberry Jr.," the plan was apparently approved sometime between then and today, at least if this Cushingberry-branded blog will have us believe. Maybe? The wording seems so. Today is January 9, so that's awfully quick for a project like this.
The entire post is worth a read if you enjoy confusing syntax and typos, but here's the most important blockquote — emphasis mine:
Under the direction of the new City Council and Mayor's office, a bus tracking app letting riders know the precise location of the bus will be developed. This is will be an extreme help to a rider/customer of DDOT.This app will be designed to run on most cell phones, iPads, and tablets.This is what an elected City Council can do for its citizens and visitors.From using Google Glass to using your android phone or tablet, GPS tracking of DDOT busses will be a benefit to the consumer and, allow for information on the system to be disseminated in a timely manner.
Hmm. How many people in Detroit have Google Glass right now?
Here's another interesting paragraph from Cushingberry's test study:
Unbeknown to the test subject, one of the busses on the 10 Chene line had broken down and was taken offline.So a 15 minute wait turned into a 55 minute wait in the cold. Luckily, the test subject was used to the weather because they were raised delivering newspapers for the Detroit News and walking to school at 12 years old in the cold weather.
The same Detroit News that Cushingberry told to go to hell the other day? I guess.
It's strange that out of all the problems that the Detroit Department of Transportation faces with its bus system — rude drivers, violence on board, the aforementioned mechanical failures, overcrowding, all of the routes that were cut a few years ago — that this would be what would solve some of the problems. It's safe to say this blog is bunk.
However, let me try to attempt to find the silver lining here: What if Detroit's transportation department were on the cutting edge of such technology? I'd like to see such a study done under more formal circumstances — like actual Google people and transportation administrators, and not Cushingberry's "Friends" — to see if it can actually be done. Lord knows the city could use another selling point.
[UPDATE: As a few have noted here and on Facebook, such GPS-tracking methods are already in use for DDOT custoemrs, such as TextMyBus.com and Stop313, so did Cushingberry...miss the bus? We'll see if something related to Google Glass comes to fruition.]
[Hat-tip to Graham!] [Photo via AP]