GRT's trip planning tools, including next ride text, next ride call, passenger information displays and real-time map use real-time departure information.

How real-time works

Real-time uses GPS satellite technology to track buses and trains and provide their approximate location. Once the vehicle is located, the system then predicts when it will depart future stops. Factors such as scheduled time, vehicle speed and distance help provide this information.

While GRT expects most predictions to be reasonably accurate, the technology is complex and relies on multiple systems, on and off the  vehicle to work together. Because of this complexity, riders may occasionally receive inaccurate information when one system fails to communicate with the others.

In some instances, if the technology cannot make an accurate prediction, it will show a scheduled departure time (indicated by ~ on digital signs, * on text messaging). The mobile app shows both scheduled and real-time departure times.

Real-time information and detours

Many of GRT's routes have detours, due to the numerous construction projects around the region, and some routes have multiple detours in effect. Real-time information is affected by detours as buses go off route and times adjust accordingly. As construction and detours end, and schedules become more accurate, so will the real-time information.

Best practice

A rider should still arrive at their stop at least 3-5 minutes before the predicted or scheduled departure time. The closer the bus is to a stop, the more accurate the prediction is likely to be. If you have made an early inquiry, recheck closer to the actual time to verify the bus departure time.  Departure times can change due to factors such as traffic delays or the travel speed of the bus.

Technology is not always perfect, but real-time helps our riders manage their time more efficiently and avoid waiting for their ride longer than they need to.