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MTA Riders Can Now Track The Bus Using Their Smart Phones

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Smart transportation. MTA buses are joining the ranks of services like Uber and Zipcar.

Marcus Washington has more on how riders are getting new services at their fingertips.

The Maryland Transportation Administration launched a new service Monday. All you need is your cell phone to cut the wait time down at any bus stop.

This time of year, waiting for a bus can get pretty uncomfortable.

"That's when it's cold. So you want that bus to come pretty fast," said Maurice Conner, MTA bus rider.

For some 16 years, Conner has counted on the good old bus schedule posted at bus stops, tracking the time and wait. He's not alone.

"You think the bus is coming, the bus is nowhere in sight. You're looking up the street, you're looking down the street just hoping the bus will come," said April Cox.

Starting Monday, the wait and wonder comes to an end as the Maryland Transportation Administration implements "My MTA Tracker" for buses.

The new system allows anyone to use their cell phone to track where the bus is and its estimated arrival time.

If you don't have a smart phone, there is also a number to text and call for real time arrival information.

"If this is going to be a new thing, I hope that they'll be running more efficiently as well as us being able to look and see how far away they are and when they'll be coming," said Donika Mosley.

"It would very well be appreciated to know when the bus is going to come," said Garry Johnson.

My MTA Tracker comes at a time when Baltimore is ranked in the top 25 cities in the country with tech drive transportation tools like Uber, Lyft and Zipcar. Now you can add MTA buses to that list.

"It's a new technology basically utilizing our GPS technology we currently have on all the buses," said Tammi Bolden, MTA.

Bolden tells WJZ customers asked for this. The MTA hopes the new system will make the wait easier for thousands of riders.

"It's worth the try. I'll give it a try," said Mosley.

My MTA Tracker is running on a 100 day trial run. The full site will be up in May.

My MTA Tracker is slightly different from the existing MARC Tracker and the Light Rail Tracker, which launched last year.

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