DDOT has new app to help students find buses

Author: Shawn Ley, Local 4 Reporter, @ShawnLeyLive, sley@wdiv.com
Published On: Sep 04 2012 10:47:18 AM EDT
Text-my-bus-DDOT
DETROIT -

Bus stop safety in Detroit? Now, there’s an app for that.

Tuesday morning, DDOT launched new technology that tells riders exactly when their bus will arrive at their stop. It’s called “TEXT MY BUS” and it’s simple. 

Anyone, not just students, can text 50464 from any cell phone, punch in what intersection you are standing closest to and a list of bus routes comes back to your phone. Select the bus you want and, DING! Just like that the exact time that bus will be to you pops into your phone.

The non-profit “Code for America” used grant money to link into DDOT’s GPS system already on buses. The information you’re getting is in real time, it’s not a bus schedule.

VIEW: Text My Bus brochure

"I’ll use it! If I miss the bus, I usually start walking to school,” Brandon Rutland told Local 4. He's a junior at Cody High School.

Rutland says knowing exactly when his bus gets to him will mean less time for him standing on the street or walking.  Police say that’s key for kids like Rutland, not to make themselves an easy target for criminals.

Code for America says they key now to keep the technology rolling is for any web developers in Detroit to take what they’ve started and come up with a smart phone application. The grant to fun “Text My Bus” ends in 11 months. The city, DPS, DDOT and police want the service to continue for students and other riders on a full-time basis.