My friend Bruce has a great idea. He thinks the CTA should extend its successful and popular Bus Tracker application to Congestion Tracker. That way, you could not only see when the next bus would arrive, but also whether it would be too crowded to board. That would save more minutes and exposure to extreme weather conditions.
When I asked him how the CTA would do this, he replied like a true idea guy -- he didn't know, but others could figure it out.
As I thought about it. I was figuring it might not be too difficult. First, the CTA knows how many people are on the bus from the fare box scanner. But what about those who get off the bus? Perhaps the CTA could use their on-board bus cameras to beam back photos and translate that info into Congestion Tracker data. It might work.
Does anyone have other ideas on how to make this work?
Meanwhile, Bus Tracker is indeed popular among CTA rider. The Sun-Times reports that "visits to the Bus Tracker website have soared 45 percent -- to 46,062 in September from 31,720 in June -- on an average weekday."