By Ted AYALA
Glendale City Council Tuesday renewed a contract to continue the use of NextBus for Glendale’s fleet of Beeline buses.
The contract with NextBus, which is a division of Cubic Transportation Systems, itself a part of the San Diego-based Cubic Corporation, would go into effect beginning July 1 and would end on June 30, 2019. The contract is worth $331,086 and would come with an option to renew for another five years. Council approved the appropriation of $121,692 to fund the renewal.
NextBus is a real-time bus passenger information system that can be accessed via smartphones and computers. Using GPS information, NextBus allows riders to obtain up-to-the-minute times for bus arrivals at the stops closest to them.
City staff said that the app is “a very great product for our customers.”
It also allows the city’s Department of Transportation to keep track of how well their buses are meeting their arrival times and schedules.
Councilmember Laura Friedman praised the app, saying that it has been a boon to her as a regular Beeline passenger. She did note some problems with NextBus and suggested that city staff find ways of improving it.
“It’s a little hard to navigate sometimes,” she said. “The GPS doesn’t always work. But when you find all that it works really well. … It’s a must [for Beeline riders].”
The Department of Transportation advertises NextBus directly to passengers via Beeline materials on the buses as well as on the bus system’s website.
Among other mass transit systems that employ NextBus are Los Angeles’ Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), San Francisco’s Muni, and Sonoma County Transit. NextBus also serves transit agencies across the United States and Canada.
Crescenta Valley is served by Beeline Route 3. That route begins near the Americana at Brand, goes up Glendale Avenue, cutting through the heart of Montrose along Honolulu Avenue, and eventually working its way to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in La Cañada.