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Washington Transit Agency Uses GPS to Track Vehicles


Radio Satellite Integrators, Inc. (RSI), a global provider of customized GPS-based vehicle tracking and mobile data systems, today announced that the Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) has gone live with a new Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) system for their Specialized Transportation fleet.

Based in Bellingham, Washington between Seattle and the Canadian border, WTA Specialized Transportation provides curb to curb shuttle service to the elderly and disabled in lieu of the standard fixed route buses. WTA has equipped 35 shuttle buses that perform over 10,000 trips per month for the citizens of Whatcom County.

The RSI AVL system combines GPS, wireless communications, and ESRI mapping software to provide real-time and historical vehicle fleet location data to WTA dispatchers and administrators. The RSI system communicates the data using a city owned 2-way radio system. At WTA headquarters there are three workstations where the users can view the exact location and status of the vehicle fleet on customized map software in real-time. The software also allows users to generate any variety of historical activity and location reports based on the collected GPS and vehicle status data.

In addition, RSI equipped the WTA system with in-vehicle emergency panic
buttons for the drivers. When activated the panic buttons will instantly
notify the dispatcher at headquarters with a distress message showing the
vehicle ID, and exact location/address of the vehicle.

“In these recent times of heightened security and tighter budgets, it is a real bonus when our country’s transportation industry can take advantage of AVL technology to improve both safety and efficiency,” said RSI President Jonathan Michels.

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