BUS timetables in Newcastle, the Hunter and regional NSW just got a bit smarter.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced this week that a Newcastle firm’s data will begin feeding real-time data from passenger trains and buses through to passengers.
Warabrook-based 4Tel’s train tracking system 4Trak, previously used internally to follow the state’s trains, has begun feeding through to passengers’ smartphones.
The system combines track and GPS data to more accurately track vehicles, the company says, creating a more accurate comparison with the timetable.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance announced on Tuesday that the feed would give passengers updated information on trains every 30 seconds and buses every few minutes.
The 4Trak feed has previously been used internally for firms including the Australian Rail Track Corporation and Victorian public transport.
“For the first time regional customers will have access to the same information about their services as our metropolitan customers,” Mr Constance said.
4Tel general manager Mark Wood said his company had used its software to monitor trains for some time but the data had never been fed to the public in NSW.
The company was founded in 2001 with a focus on train communication services but eventually evolved a greater focus on innovative software and systems for the rail industry.
Designing software for its own use eventually led the company to create efficient programs attractive to rail providers to monitor their own networks.
Maintaining and improving those systems is now the dominant work for its 31 staff, who service clients in Victoria and NSW as well as Chile and Kenya.
Mr Wood said the Newcastle location and refusal to offshore any part of the process made the company attractive to some clients also based in Australia, Asia or the Pacific.
“We do a complete end-to-end solution,” he said. “A few of our contracts we’ve won against bigger companies that are overseas because we are adaptable.”
4Tel data will be fed into apps including TripView, NextThere, Arrivo Sydney, Triptastic, Metarove, abil.io, Moovit and Transit App.