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Adrian Aguilar: The future of Santa Clarita Transit

Posted: December 10, 2010 11:10 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2010 4:30 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita is pleased to announce that the innovative Transit Information Network (TIN) is in the final stages of phase 1. 

This top-notch technology will allow passengers to receive up-to-the-minute arrival times at bus stops, over the Internet and through their cell phones. TIN will provide Santa Clarita Transit staff with the tools necessary to monitor the productivity and efficiency of each route and identify opportunities to enhance the transit system.

So what does this mean for Santa Clarita Transit riders?  It means residents will no longer need to ask, “What time will the next bus be here?” 

Customers can now go online, use their cell phone or access one of 30 arrival display signs located at various bus stops to quickly access this information thanks to the TIN.

In addition, the city of Santa Clarita Transit has included a quick-response code on the back of every printed bus schedule.

This barcode, readable by mobile phones with a camera and smartphones, allows patrons to quickly scan the code and be directed to the TIN-enabled website. It allows passengers to then monitor the progress of their bus from their location.
Santa Clarita Transit customers may have already noticed stop ID numbers that have been installed at every bus-stop location within the system.

The stop ID numbers are used to provide customers with both scheduled and actual arrival times specific to that stop. It’s as simple as entering the stop ID number to locate the bus and the interactive system will provide customers with real-time information.

The second phase of TIN will involve installing additional arrival-time displays at bus stops and equipping the entire bus fleet with automated passenger-counters.

This technology will provide more accurate ridership data for transit staff, as well as play a critical role in the monitoring and improvement of key performance indicators, such as on-time performance, fare collections and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

TIN is just one example of the features and benefits Santa Clarita Transit offers riders. Now that the first phase has been completed, we can now accurately identify the arrival time of any given bus at any location.

This real-time information has already greatly benefited both Santa Clarita Transit and our customers. It has revolutionized our entire system, and we are looking forward to starting the next phase.   

Also on the horizon is the full implementation of the TAP program, which the city started locally in June 2009. TAP is Los Angeles County’s new, cash-free system for transit-fare payment. The pre-loaded card allows riders to pay transit fees, eliminating the need to carry exact change.

Effective Jan. 1, the local Santa Clarita Transit paper pass will be discontinued and transitioned to the TAP card.  The online purchase and electronic loading of monthly local, commuter or day passes to TAP cards by our transit customers eliminates over 70,000 pieces of paper yearly, greatly reducing our carbon footprint.

TIN and TAP are just the beginning of the technological advancements that the city’s transit system will implement over the next year, all designed to improve transit services and the quality of life for our community in a sustainable manner for years to come.

Santa Clarita Transit is dedicated to enhancing its transit services with useful technology, and TIN is one big step toward achieving this goal.  For more information on Santa Clarita Transit, please visit www.santaclaritatransit.com.

Adrian Aguilar is the transit manager for the city of Santa Clarita and can be reached at: aaguilar@santa-clarita.com. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” appears Saturdays in The Signal.

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