Grays Harbor County Courthouse, Montesano (Joe Mabel/Wikimedia)

[post updated with additional information about publicly accessible data feeds].

Out on the Pacific Coast, Grays Harbor Transit (serving the county around Aberdeen) is rolling out two major information technology projects: one for real-time information and one for mobile phone payment. In both cases, they’re contracting with companies that market to small transit agencies.

Real-time information is already live, although I found the interface to be non-intuitive. The listed times are scheduled times, but the arrow indicating the position of the bus is the actual position. The information is also available to third-party developers via the GTFS interface.

Mobile phone payments are, of course, incompatible with the Pierce Transit and Metro versions. They do, however, use the Token Transit app, which their twitter feed claims works for seven other agencies that are also clients. The app will go live October 23rd. And an app is superior to getting a pass by mail, or at a handful of retail locations.

If you use Grays Harbor Transit, you finally have some 21st century tools to save time and avoid cash.

6 Replies to “Grays Harbor Transit Doing Some IT Projects”

  1. It just hit me how many news stands (do they even have those anymore?) cafe’s, 7-11’s and libraries we won’t have to bother anymore. Reminds me of a couple personal things, though.

    In East Africa, rather than try to update or duplicate the 1920’s English phone system (you had to go up to a counter at the post office and buy a special token good for nothing else, which was good because you didn’t get them back) the new countries went to cell phones soon as they were invented.

    Also, couple years ago, I was explaining to some young relatives about how Ed Wood, the creator of “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, which unfortunately no longer holds the title of “Worst Movie Ever Made”, used a hubcap full of gasoline as special effect for a flying saucer with Being on Fire problems.

    Cute girl asked me: “Uncle Mark…What’s a hubcap? ” Now those whippersnappers gotta steal my whole dang wheel! But worst downside is waiting ’til I can get apps on my key-board phone. Now I know how last monkey without fully opposed thumbs felt. Ook. I mean Thank You Gray’s Harbor.

    MD

  2. As one of the have (a smart phone) nots, I have to wonder if there will some day be a way to rent a smart phone for cheap, without using an app.

    1. Up until recently, TriMet’s app worked OK on an iPhone 3GS, which you could get on the used market for about $35.

      So, it may not be worthwhile to have a rental system, depending on how good the developers are about writing apps that still work on old versions of the operating system.

  3. In a state with, in general, miserable looking county court houses, Grays Harbor’s is beautiful.

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