University of Pittsburgh
September 23, 2001

Pitt program helps Allegheny County residents "Take the Bus" more efficiently

Contact:  412-624-4147

September 24, 2001

PITTSBURGH—Now anyone with access to a computer with an Internet connection can benefit from "Take the Bus," an Internet-based public transit mapping service developed by the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh. "Take the Bus" uses geographic information systems technology to help people identify public transportation routes between any two points within Allegheny County.

The idea for "Take the Bus" grew out of discussions by the Access to Work Task force of Allegheny County and has been several years in development.

"We believe this project plays a valuable and complementary role in linking our county in helping people access a wide range of employment opportunities and recreation areas, and in connecting them to friends and family," said GSPIA Associate Dean and Professor David Y. Miller.

The prototype service, accessible on the Web at www.takethebus.org, generates free, interactive maps providing an intuitive Web interface that minimizes user learning curves. Users enjoy immediate access to regional maps that are linked to job banks, business locations, and transportation, human service, and other relevant databases. The site shows a map of the bus route, gives the bus routes, and tells where transfers would be required. Also included are links for Port Authority bus schedules, and job opportunities through "Career Links" and the Pittsburgh Job Partnership.

"The initial goal of the project was to help disadvantaged job seekers by lowering transportation barriers," said Project Coordinator Daniel Campbell. "But its usefulness has expanded. 'Take the Bus' will be able to help you locate services near work or home, such as schools, daycare centers, and healthcare facilities. Whether you are going to work or visiting family and friends, you can take the bus and take care of your life along the way."

The project is funded by the Henry C. and Belle Doyle McEldowney Fund and the Scott Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation. It was developed with the assistance of Pitt's School of Information Sciences.

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