The WiFi eTransit Village


October 6, 2005


Uma Shama


Bridgewater State College


As a foundational research project of the Federal Transit Administration, the GeoGraphics Laboratory at Bridgewater State College has developed of a web-based transit technology prototype focused on the needs of the consumer to access safe and secure transit service while also providing for enhanced personal productivity and travel assistance while on-board the transit vehicle and at the bus stop. The project takes advantage of emerging community-wide outdoor Internet connectivity and very large scale data storage as the enabling technology for a full-featured e-transit village. The project uniquely uses the wireless local area network infrastructure (WLAN) and international standards (WiFi or wireless fidelity 802.11b) to demonstrate customer-oriented applications of transit technology for community transportation providers. The transit technology prototype uses the campus transit system for Bridgewater State College provided by the Brockton (MA) Area Transit Authority (BAT) and the surrounding New England village of Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Proof of concept milestones to date include 1) GPS-based automatic vehicle location mapping transit vehicles with a one-second refresh rate using Microsoft’s web service and 2) transmission of video from the transit vehicle with GPS date/time and latitude/longitude at simultaneous one-second intervals for real-time Internet display and archiving on Microsoft’s custom built 2-terabyte server. Research continues in developing an opportunistic approach to optimizing reacquisition of access points and reauthorization of wireless local area network security from a moving transit vehicle. A field operational test of the proof of concept is planned for 2006 with an opportunity for deployment by the local sponsoring transit authority in 2007.


Uma Shama

Dr. Uma Shama is a professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Bridgewater State College. She is Co-Director (with Mr. Harman) of the GeoGraphics Laboratory at the Moakley Center for Technological Applications. She is the principal investigator of the 2005 National Transit Use of GIS Survey. Mr. Harman is the president of Harman Consulting LLC and a co-director the GeoGraphics Laboratory, a public/private partnership with Bridgewater State College. He is principal investigator of a Federal Transit Administration-sponsored Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) project using remote sensing and unmanned aerial vehicles for transit safety and security. Mr. Harman and Dr. Shama are co-principal investigators of the Federal Transit Administration’s WiFi e-transit village prototype research project.