UW student creates public transit tracker

Data pix.

EVERETT, Wash. – Many people have stories about their experience on public transportation, both good and bad.

“They’re late, they’re rude and some more stuff,” said bus rider Najja Jordan.

But what if there was a way to at least track your bus, instead of going off a schedule. The bus can sometimes be late, there’s inclement weather or there’s no bus at all.

For University of Washington junior Kona Farry, he gets your pain.

"That is absolutely a frustrating experience, I’ve been there,” he said.

Farry is a person who really loves public transportation, which is why he developed what he calls the Puget Sound Transit Operations Tracker. In its current form, it’s a website that gathers all of the up-to-date tracking data from most of the major transit agencies in the region.

And you are able to see, in as close to real time as possible, where the buses, ferries, light rail and rail cars are.

“This started as just something for me because I wanted to see all the buses on a map. So it started as a very bare bones type of tool,” said Farry.

According to Farry, he started working on the project in late December and began producing the site in early January.

“And eventually once I got deep enough into this, I began to realize that this is something that other people might be interested in,” he said.

Farry is currently majoring in UW’s Community, Environment and Planning Program. He said prior to doing this, he had no coding or website development experience.

“You Google it. Something out there is going to help you get this figured out,” he said. “The data feeds are all public. They power things like OneBusAway and the Transit App that people use everyday. So I just took that information and found a different way to apply it.”

He's even got it down to where you can filter it by bus type, the manufacturer or even if another agency is taking over a route.

“This is all total bus nerd stuff,” he said.

Farry said he hopes to develop an app sometime during the summer. Along with being a student, Farry also works at the Marysville Parks Department. As for what he wants to do after graduating...

“Yeah I’ll probably go into transit planning,” he said.

To check out the website for yourself, just go to: https://ptrack.konafarry.com/

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