YCAT providing real time transit information on Orange Route
A system that allows bus riders to know exactly when the next bus will arrive is being tested on a Yuma County Area Transit (YCAT) route.
The Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (YCIPTA) has implemented the system at all Orange Route 2 bus stops, which include downtown Yuma, Arizona Western College and eastern Yuma areas.
Cattrax, provided by NextBus Inc. of Emeryville, Calif., allows riders to obtain real-time information regarding bus arrival times with a cell phone or Internet connection.
“This will be a major improvement for YCAT riders throughout Yuma County,” John Andoh, transit director, said. “They will no longer have to guess when the next bus will arrive.”
If the test is successful, YCIPTA will launch Cattrax on all bus routes.
Three YCAT buses have been outfitted with a GPS tracker. The Cattrax technology uses global positioning satellites and advanced computer modeling to track the location of buses on their routes every 30 seconds.
The system takes into account the actual position of the buses, their intended stops and typical traffic patterns to estimate bus arrival times. The estimated arrival times are sent to the customer via mobile devices, YCAT's Web site and electronic signs at select bus stops.
“In general, the predicted information will be accurate to within a couple of seconds as buses are subject to unpredictable field conditions such as traffic and weather,” Andoh noted.
First Transit managers and dispatchers will have access to the real-time information. They will be able to take action when buses are falling behind schedule, arrive too early or when multiple buses arrive at the same stop at the same time.
In addition, the real-time arrival information is accessible via an electronic sign installed at Arizona Western College. More signs will be added at major bus stops, such as the Downtown Yuma Transit Center, Yuma Palms Regional Shopping Center, West Yuma Transfer Hub, Paradise Casino, Main and C streets in San Luis, Cocopah Casino Resort and Yuma Regional Medical Center.
Riders can obtain information about when their next bus will arrive by visiting www.ycat.az.gov and clicking on the link Cattrax link. Enter the bus stop identification number found on the YCAT bus stop signs or specify the desired bus route, direction of travel and the bus stop location.
Delay information for particular routes also will be posted online, and the information will be available by phone and SMS.
The information on bus arrival times is automatically displayed and updated every minute.
Riders can also call 928-304-7537 and follow the prompts to get arrival time information by phone.
Riders can also text the bus stop number to 41411 and they will receive the information within seconds.
In other news, YCIPTA is adding “new and improved services” to the rural areas of Yuma County. These new services include the Brown Route 3 door-to-door service in the Fortuna-Foothills area Monday through Saturday and WelltonCAT door-to-door service in Wellton on Fridays.
Brown Route 3 operates in the Fortuna-Foothills as a deviation point, with connections to YCAT Orange Route 2/2A at Arizona Western College. This route provides door-to-door service throughout the entire Fortuna Foothills area.
Passengers can call 30 minutes before the bus arrives at a specific area in the Fortuna-Foothills to have the bus pick them up or drop them off at their location. Since the service has a schedule, passengers may also board the bus at a specific bus stop in the Fortuna-Foothills.
The service is already available. Fares range from $2-$4 with discounts for seniors, persons with disabilities and students.
Starting March 22, the WelltonCAT door-to-door service will initially operate every Friday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., anywhere within the town limits.
“Passengers should simply call 15 minutes prior to pick-up and the bus will simply pick them up and take them wherever they want to go within Wellton,” Andoh explained.
The fare is $2 with discounts for seniors, students and persons with disabilities.
For more YCAT transit information and YCAT OnCall reservations, visit www.ycat.az.gov or call 928-783-2235.