[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.