The transit geeks who read Cyclelicious know about NextBus, right? They provide GPS tracking and real time arrival information for 104 transit systems in the United States and Canada. You select the transit agency and the route you’re interested in and view real time arrivals via a web page and smart phone friendly web page. NextBus can also send real time arrival info via SMS text messages. Viewing the real time map is fun, kind of like watching the streetcars move while playing SimCity.
There’s no need to download an app, but the NextBus open API allows anybody to access their real time data and create their own app. This enterprising college student even managed to get a transit agency to pay him to create an app for something that anybody can already use for free!
NextBus, based in Emeryville, CA, today announced their acquisition by Cubic Transportation Systems of San Diego. Cubic is “the leading provider of integrated revenue management systems and services for the mass transit industry.” I don’t really know what that means, but given their existing fascination with the word “Next”, the NextBus acquistion seems like a perfect fit for them. Cubic’s “NextCity Vision” — an evolution of their “existing Nextfare and Nextaccount platforms” — “enable transport operators to regulate demand by setting fees and fares across all modes of transport within a region.”
Besides this nexus of Nextism, Cubic says they will “leverage Cubic’s global presence and customer base” to “extend the company’s portfolio of information-based solutions for its transit industry customers and positions NextBus to accelerate its growth.”
Cubic is everywhere — they make things like ticket vending machines and fare card readers that go on buses, along with a lot of the computer technology used by transit agencies. Hopefully, this means NextBus will be available from more transit agencies. Cubic is worldwide so perhaps we’ll begin to see NextBus outside of North America, too.
H/T to the owner of this website for this news.