OC’s Bus Tracking System Off To Solid Start

OCEAN CITY – A new bus tracking system in Ocean City is off to a promising start.

In a meeting of the Transportation Committee Tuesday, Transit Manager Mark Rickards briefed committee members on statistics of the new TransLoc auto vehicle locator system, which will allow bus riders to track the location and time of the next incoming bus through a mobile app.

While a soft opening of the new system began Dec. 15, the application made its official debut on New Year’s Eve.

Rickards said the system allows transportation officials to track the number of individuals utilizing TransLoc through their mobile or desktop device.

“We can monitor behind the scenes how many people are looking at their phones,” he said. “We can actually tell if it’s an Android or iOS. We can tell if they’re looking at the mobile map. We can tell if they are operating from their desktop.”

For example, on New Year’s Eve, resort officials reported 198 hits for the TransLoc Rider app. Of that number, 63 used the iOS rider application, 91 used the Android rider application, 38 used the mobile map, four used the desktop map and two used Android Classic.

While the tracking application saw fewer hits on New Year’s Day, Rickards said the number of hits for the following week reached more than 1,400.

“We had 1,458 hits from midnight on Jan. 1 through the 6th,” he said.

Mayor Rick Meehan expressed his enthusiasm for the new system.

“I think that’s a good number,” he said. “I really do.”

Despite the frigid conditions experienced on New Year’s Eve weekend, Rickards said he was also encouraged by the system’s promising start.

“It’s been well accepted by our staff, our drivers and the public,” he said. “I haven’t had any complaints.”

Tablets used to track the city’s buses will be mounted to each vehicle this week, while additional marketing will begin in the near future.

“This has to be a season-long campaign,” Meehan said.

Rickards explained the TransLoc system is just one of the many improvements being made at the Public Works Department ahead of the summer season. He said 11 new buses, two new Jeeps and a new camera system will be in place in the upcoming months.

Meehan stressed the importance of driver recruitment.

“It all works together,” he said. “We can have all the equipment we need, but if we don’t have the drivers we failed. That is our number one priority.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.