Starting this winter, Athens Public Transit will offer real-time bus tracking services to riders through DoubleMap Incorporated (www.doublemap.com). Using GPS location information, the service shows buses moving along their routes on an online map, and provides dynamic predictions of the next bus arrival time at each stop. Transit users can view the information in a web browser or on their phones or tablets – both iOS and Android apps are available as free downloads.
“There is some real anxiety that comes with waiting at a bus stop, because you’re never convinced that your bus is going to show up until the moment you see it” said APT’s Michael Lachman. “Tracking services like DoubleMap’s take that uncertainty out of the equation – a rider can even wait indoors, following their bus on the app.”
The service will offer benefits to operations as well, according to APT general manager Mary Dailey: “GPS location will give our dispatchers a more accurate on-time status of routes and buses to share with customers”. APT is the second local bus system to sign an agreement with DoubleMap after Ohio University CATS launched tracking in August, and the two systems have discussed the possibility of offering coordinated real-time displays at the Mulberry@Baker connecting stop sometime in the future.
Bus tracking is currently being tested and will be fully live at the start of Ohio University’s Spring Semester, January 12th 2015. In the meantime, a static map is viewable at athens.doublemap.com.
Read more about how to use DoubleMap’s service with this download.
Athens Public Transit is thrilled to announce a new expansion of service! Beginning sometime in the first quarter of 2015, our current Route 5 loop will be replaced by a syncronized pair of loops operating in opposite directions. One loop will keep Route 5’s path – out Columbus Road, through The Plains, and back to uptown Athens via Union Street, O’Bleness Hospital and the West Side neighborhoods. The other will reverse this routing and travel beyond the Plains to Chauncey, returning to Athens via S.R. 13, The JFS County Home, and Columbus Road.
In addition to the increase in bus frequency the new arrangement represents, weekday hours on both loops are being expanded to the system-wide standard 7am-7pm; up to now Route 5 has operated 9:30am-5:30pm, and prior to 2013, 10am-4pm. The new hours will not only balance the system’s network of routes, it will offer many workers in Athens and beyond the ability to commute to work on the bus in a way that they couldn’t previously.
The expansion is made possible by a federal Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) grant, with generous matching contributions from Athens County Department of Job and Family Services and The City of Athens. A full joint press release with more details is available here. APT is grateful to our funding partners for being willing to back this project; more updates will be forthcoming as the new service rolls out.
On Saturday, October 25, much of Uptown Athens will be closed for the 40th annual Halloween block party. The following outbound/northbound Athens Public Transit stops will be unavailable all day and evening for all City and Summit routes:
- Richland & W Green Drive at Grover Center northbound (City and Summit)
- President St Lindley/Bentley Main stop (City and Summit) – City routes use temp stop at College St.
- Class Gateway (Summit)
- Court & Washington (City and Summit) – use temp stop at College St.
- Casa Nueva (Summit)
- Court & W State (City) – use temp stop at College St.
- Carpenter & Grosvenor outbound (City) – use stops at Family Dollar or E State & Morris
Our temporary main connecting stop during these closures will be on College St at Washington, by the 1st United Methodist Church and across from the City Parking Garage. A map of all added service and road/stop closures is available. For travel information call 740-592-2727.
As posted previously, our expanded evening service stopping at fairgrounds parking will be running continuously both Friday and Saturday. Click here for complete weekend travel details, including trip planning from hotels. Dress warmly, be safe, look out for your friends and have a great weekend!
On Saturday morning, October 18th, the Athens chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is holding “Walk-the-Walk” for mental health awareness. The Walk starts at 10am with a rally uptown at the Courthouse. Donations are accepted and go to NAMI and The Gathering Place.
APT will be providing a bus to transport walkers at the beginning and end of the Walk. We believe that mental illness awareness and support are vital to the health of our whole community; why not walk with us?
As in previous years, APT is announcing increased bus service for visitors and locals trying to make it uptown for Halloween weekend October 24th and 25th! Athens’ annual block party, now 40 years old, is the largest celebration of the year; as many as 40,000 revelers visit Court Street the Saturday of the official party, with plenty of eye-opening and creative costumes making the rounds.
Full travel details for this year are located on our 2014 Halloween Service page. Parking around town is extremely difficult Halloween Weekend, so plan ahead. Check back in a week or two for information on street detours for our regularly scheduled bus service.
Our service map and schedule for this fall has been published; you can download a copy here on the website or get the print version at a variety of places around Athens, including City Hall, Baker Center, Alden Library, the Athens Community Center, Athens Public Library and the Plains Public Library, and the Athens Visitor Center.
While no major changes to service have been made, several updates and alerts are worth noting:
- Stops on South Green Drive and at the corner of Richland and South Green Drive were removed early last year, but remained in many schedules and maps that were printed – these stops no longer appear in the new information.
- Route 4 stops on Race St and Stewart St by the South Green Front Four are missing signs at the moment. If in doubt as to the stop location, please flag the bus driver as they pass by waving to them.
- The Plains hailing zone now extends up Columbus Road as far as the uphill end of Columbus Circle – you can request a pickup by waving to the driver anywhere in this zone.
Last but certainly not least, we want to remind all riders that the Mulberry@Baker Main bus stop is still closed for street construction! Please go to the corner of President and Court (picture below). This temporary main stop will continue to be in effect until November or even December of 2014. Until then, Mulberry@Baker and Court/Chubb Hall stops are CLOSED!
Athens Public Transit has released a request for quotations for the purchase, renovation, and siting of bus shelters. Quotes for all portions of the project work are being accepted through Friday, August 29th. Check APT’s Procurement and Contracts page for details and resources about the project.
Athens Public Transit is seeking a provider for an Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system, with bus tracking to be available to both our staff and the public. Systems that provide real-time information on vehicle arrivals and other shifting operational data have become a powerful new resource for transit systems and their patrons worldwide, and we are excited for the chance to join this growing trend in the industry. A vendor announcement and request for proposals are available on our procurement page
for any providers interested in submitting a proposal.
North Court Street between West State and Carpenter will be closed tomorrow morning, Tuesday July 8th, for a different kind of automotive traffic: Rally North America (http://rallynorthamerica.com) is coming to town! APT will be detouring Routes 2,3 and 5 around the event, which will last approximately three hours, from the beginning of the day to around 10am.
Two bus stops will be temporarily out of service during the closure – North Court at Dale’s BP outbound, and Carpenter at Carpenter Hall outbound. Service to these stops will resume as soon as N Court is reopened.