Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced a new collaboration with Google, which will see the tech platform run real-time updates of bus timetables on Google Maps.
According to the RTA, with the move, Dubai has become the first city in the Middle East to use open data in public transport at par with 100 smart cities across the globe.
Previously, Google Maps could only display fixed RTA bus timetables without any updates, which meant commuters don’t get updates on any disruptions.
“Linking and providing instant updates of bus schedules on Google Platform will help public transport riders and keep them informed of bus timetables, especially in the event of an anticipated early departure or late arrival. Such updates will enable them to better plan their journeys and minimise potential complaints from changes in timetables for unavoidable reasons,” said Khaled Al Awadi, Director of Transportation Systems at RTA’s Public Transport Agency.
The new initiative aims to overcome delays or early arrival of buses for emergency factors thanks to instant updates now provided. Accordingly, riders will be aware of their revised journey times. Real-time updates are run using GTFS-RT system (General Transit Feed Specification – Realtime).
“Google Maps are commonly used and are extremely popular worldwide. The initiative is in line with our leaders’ efforts to cater to the needs of Dubai residents, especially riders of public transport; the backbone of people mobility in Dubai. It serves many other strategic goals of RTA such as ‘Smart Dubai,’ ‘People Happiness’ and ‘Advance RTA’,” added Al Awadi.