The details of where and when I read it are fuzzy but at some point I stumbled across a proposal for a Nashville busing app that would show users where buses are in real time so they could have some idea when the next bus is coming or find the closest spot to catch a bus. And I thought, yeah, that’ll happen.
Oh, hey, it actually happened. Good job, Nashville MTA! Based on iTunes it came out some time in 2015. There’s a lot of advertising on buses. There are some buses that are literally covered with advertising, as well as advertising on bus stops, something I won’t illustrate with a picture because the advertisers aren’t paying me, but that’s another story. Why couldn’t they use a little of that space to advertise this new app? I’m sure riders would be very interested. Most carry smartphones, except for that one guy who wanders up and down asking people if he can borrow their phone. I only found out about the app because I went to the Nashville MTA website looking for something completely unrelated.
And now I have it on my phone. It’s pretty nifty although the interface leaves a bit to be desired. Standing on a corner I was able to see approaching buses and the bus that just went by—missed it by that much—and I could even look up nearby stops.
The search function could use a little work.
I get it, though, that it’s a work in progress and there will hopefully be improvements. And if they want feedback and user testing I hope they’ll let me know. It’s the least they could do after I’ve given the thing all this free advertising.