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September 30, 2011 at 3:03 PM

OneBusAway - Hurray

Posted by Lance Dickie

Transit users across Puget Sound, please give a cheer for OneBusAway, the popular app that tells you when the bus is coming. Or not. All the cool kids use it, and lots of us beyond that demographic. The handy tool earned the University of Washington a 2011 Vision 2040 Award from the Puget Sound Regional Council.

The computer application was created by Brian Ferris, a UW grad student in computer science, in collaboration with Kari Watkins, another UW grad student in civil engineering. Those names pop up at, but the effort benefited from lots creative hands and minds in those two notable departments. Nods of gratitude are also made toward Nokia Research and the National Science Foundation for financial support.

OneBusAway is best described as a set of tools transit riders can access via the web, mobile apps, texting or phone. Nine regional transit agencies - buses to ferries - are covered. "Access to real time information in a variety of mobile formats has taken some of the uncertainty out of using transit, making it an even more convenient way to get around," Mukilteo Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson, chair of the awards selection committee said in a statement about OneBusAway.

Making the transit system work for those who use it is a marvel. In fact, when I look at the app for my bus…oops. Gotta go.

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