The Busview-X project constructed and demonstrated the use of an advanced public transportation system (APTS) to show the viability of providing real-time transit information to transit riders. This project (1) designed an advanced graphical transit information system using data from King County Metro Transit's existing automatic vehicle location (AVL) system and the Puget Sound's regional intelligent transportation systems (ITS) backbone; (2) created a World Wide Web (WWW) page to launch the application; and (3) demonstrated the system's viability by providing real-time transit coach locations to personal workstations on the University of Washington campus.
As a precursor to an APTS for the Puget Sound region, Busview-X was designed to (1) provide real-time coach location information to the test group; (2) enhance King County Metro's existing investment in AVL technology without disrupting existing operations; (3) evaluate AVL accuracy; (4) encourage increased ridership, modal change, and productivity; and (5) be compatible with federal efforts to develop a national ITS architecture. Busview-X was constructed in an open systems model that supported a distributed computing environment. It used the X-windowing system for graphical support. Busview-X was used 2,490 times over a period of 670 days from November 1995 to September 1997.
During the Seattle Smart Trek Model Deployment Initiative, the ideas developed in the campus-based version of Busview-X were used to create a new version, Busview, that could be widely supported on the Internet. Busview was written in the Java programming language so that graphical representation of transit information could be available anywhere on the Internet. The incorporation of a graphical toolkit into Java and its inclusion in widely available WWW browsers allowed the researchers to replace the X-window system with WWW browsers as the graphic user interface.
Both versions were well received by users. Comments from Busview-X were used to improve the design of Busview during the Smart Trek deployment. Refinements to Busview are ongoing.