Transit adds crowdsourced real-time @HSR bus locations

Nineteen months ago the developers of the Transit app started generating crowdsourced real-time transit data. That crowdsourced data is a byproduct of the app’s GO feature, Transit’s step-by-step navigator. While GO guides you throughout your journey it also broadcasts your vehicle’s location. That vehicle location data can help other transit riders with up to the second vehicle location.

Typically, transit apps (and riders) get real time bus location information from the City of Hamilton’s transit location data. With a good data feed, real-time locations take 10–30 seconds to update. With a bad data feed, it can take several minutes. It’s why sometimes your phone says a bus is one place, but your eyes say different. This can leave you feeling frustrated and potentially missing your bus.


Now, crowdsourced vehicle locations have gone live in all of Transit’s 175 cities, including for the HSR in Hamilton. Which means you can now see exactly where your bus is in hyper-precise detail whenever a fellow rider is using GO.

Normally, the vehicle locations shown in Transit are pulled from the HSR’s data feed. But once a rider is using GO on a bus or train, they start broadcasting their vehicle’s real-time location, second-by-second, to riders down the line. The Transit app replaces the vehicle location from the HSR’s data with GO’s anonymous second-by-second data. It greatly improves the accuracy of transit vehicle locations.

Learn more from Transit’s release blog on Medium.