New App Helps Riders Track Port Authority Buses

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We hear it a lot from Port Authority riders who get stranded at stops waiting for their bus, but now there is some new technology that lets you know when your ride is coming, and it’s free.

For an app, it has an odd name.

“Tiramisu means ‘pick me up’ in Italian,” explains John Zimmerman, the developer of Tiramisu.

But when “pick me up” means getting on board a Port Authority bus, the name starts to make sense.

“When they get on the bus, they start a GPS trace from their phone,” said Zimmerman. “The app pushes real time information out to all of the riders.”

Carnegie Mellon University researchers created the free app, which is only available on iPhones for now with a version for Android soon to come.

Riders share their commutes, and Tiramisu gives them their just desserts in the way of knowing almost exactly when their bus is on the way.

“This is a Pittsburgh solution. This is using the community to gather information for the community’s benefit,” said Heather Pharo, of the Port Authority. “Port Authority will benefit too because any information riders can provide on service is always useful.”

In order for the app to succeed in providing accurate information, developers say they need more riders to use it. Today, CMU deployed students with smartphones to record data and demonstrate who the app works.

“The more people that trace, the more data they produce,” Zimmerman said. “It’s about making information for themselves and for others.”

Developers plan to work with local employers and business groups to get more riders on board.

Port Authority
CMU: “Carnegie Mellon Develops iPhone App That Predicts When Bus Will Arrive”
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  • Beth Yenca

    About time someone thought of something like this! Can’t wait for it to be on Android as that is what we have. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has called me from downtown telling me a bus didn’t show up or is late and he has no idea how long it will take to get to his stop.

  • Thomas J Duttine

    Does it track them when they are sitting on the side of the road when the drivers are taking a nap???

  • Mia

    Love this idea. Can’t wait for it to come to Android. I don’t understand making apps available for the iphone first when more people have android OS phones. Still can’t wait.

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