6 September 2022

Would you catch a bus if you could track it live? And see how full it is? In Queanbeyan you can

| James Coleman
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Bus in Queanbeyan

You’re always on time for your Q City Transit bus if you’re using the Trip Planner. Photo: Q City Transit, Facebook.

You can track your pizza, but did you know you can also track your Queanbeyan bus?

The NSW Government has spent the past year and a half analysing more than 100,000 bus trips in and around Queanbeyan in an effort to give customers real-time information about their public transport.

The Transport Connected Bus (TCB) program came to Queanbeyan in March 2021 as part of Phase 2 of a state-wide rollout. Tracking technology was fitted to 110 of the area’s buses, feeding live data into Transport for NSW’s Trip Planner and other transport apps.

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Customers can use these tools to access up-to-date information on their bus location, its predicted arrival time and its capacity.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway said they have now reached the milestone of 100,000 bus trips.

“As well as information on the bus’s movements, people can see exactly how full their service is, thanks to passenger counting technology installed on vehicles,” he said.

“We’re making it so much easier for families in regional NSW to use buses in their town with real-time, user-friendly trip information at their fingertips.”

Two people on Queanbeyan bus

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway and Member for Monaro Nichole Overall aboard a Q City Transit bus. Photo: Transport for NSW.

Mr Farraway told ABC Radio the passenger-counting technology also helps Transport for NSW identify “popular routes, not-so-popular routes, routes that might need tweaking or modifying, or where we need additional resources”.

“All considered, it goes towards offering a better transport network for the Queanbeyan region.”

Member for Monaro Nichole Overall said Queanbeyan commuters have been able to access information about 176 bus routes and more than 1300 bus stops.

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“I know how much Queanbeyan residents have looked forward to having access to all this information,” she said.

“This technology is making a real difference to people’s lives – parents and carers are able to track the bus on which their child is coming home from school, and families can know exactly when to meet a bus to collect an elderly relative.”

In addition to the Trip Planner, customers can also access the real-time updates by asking Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to ‘Talk to Transport for NSW’ or sending a travel query to the Facebook Messenger bot.

Queanbeyan Q-City Transit

The Queanbeyan bus interchange off Morrisett Street. Photo: QPRC.

In rolling out the program in Queanbeyan, Transport for NSW worked with six local operators, including QCity Transit, Bungendore Bus and Coach, Braidwood Buses, Wayne Fanning, Lynn and Terry Hart Nerriga Buses and CG Grant.

As well as Queanbeyan, the TCB technology has been rolled out in 13 other regional cities across NSW, with two more to come later this month.

Over the border, Transport Canberra also provides tracking data to third-party developers to create apps for mobile devices. The full list can be found on the ACT Government website.

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Canberra’s light-rail stations are also equipped with screens that display how far away the next service is.

Mr Farraway said the ACT Government is welcome to adopt the TCB technology for the city’s public transport.

“When we have these cross-border relationships, it’s important we share this data and create as much connectivity as possible because while there’s a border, there’s not really a border.”

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Tom Worthington1:51 pm 07 Sep 22

I was surprised to find that Google Maps doesn’t provide live tracking of Transport Canberra busses. This works fine in Sydney, and Singapore, but not Canberra. Why not?

More of a gimmick than useful

Just so we’re all on the same page. In Canberra you’ll potentially be able to track your non existent suburban bus that now doesn’t stop at the bus stop the ACT Government took away.

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