There are a tonne of apps out there at the moment in smartphone land, but one that has made me sit up and take notice is the tramTRACKER for the iPhone, from Yarra Trams in Victoria.What this little app does is track your tram in real time. So if is running late, or has broken down, you can log into the app on your smartphone and find out where the tram is located. It uses GPS technology so users can find out the estimated arrival time of a tram at their stop. We all know just check it out on your phone and if it is running late, you don’t have to hurry, or if it is on time, then you can get your skates on. More importantly, though, what I find interesting about this app is how it can be used in other public transport such as buses and trains. I know that Sydney’s City Rail has something similar, and that a few months ago they tried to stop third-party software that gave out the running time of trains.
I think it is short-sighted when companies do this because, at the end of the day, it’s about the commuter and not some petty bureaucracy getting its nose out of joint. I hope that in the near future, more of the state public transport companies get onboard if similar applications are released for mobile phones. Hopefully this is just the beginning.