Vail rolls out new tech for bus system
Website has real-time info on passenger loads
Vail’s free bus system is unveiling new technology intended to help people get around town more easily. The town also continues to add electric-powered buses to the town’s fleet.
The new website, Ride.Vailgov.com, has both mobile and desktop versions. The system is intended to improve bus operations and get information out to passengers.
Chris Southwick, the town’s mobility innovation coordinator, said the system includes automated audible announcements on buses about upcoming stops, as well as public service announcements about mask requirements and schedules.
Each bus has two video monitors, and there’s free public Wi-Fi service.
Buses now have automated passenger counters. Those waiting at bus stops can see how crowded a particular bus is, and when the next lift is coming.
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Responding to a question from Mayor Kim Langmaid, Southwick said the new RideVail system can be integrated with the town’s DiscoverVail website, though that hasn’t happened yet.
“It’s impressive the system you’ve come up with,” Langmaid said.
Council member Kevin Foley is a frequent user of the town’s transit system. He said the new Wi-Fi connectivity is getting “rave reviews” from passengers.
Vail Public Works Director Greg Hall added that his department is also working on updates to the town’s transportation master plan, which includes parking and integration with other local transit systems.
Part of that update will probably include a look at a long-term plan for parking on the town’s frontage roads. Parking is allowed on the frontage roads when the town’s parking structures are full.
Council member Jonathan Staufer said he’d like to see people guided first to private parking facilities when the town’s structures fill.