By Jaycie Doerr and Gracie Hobrock, WC Reporters
MACOMB, Illinois (Western Courier) — Since 1999, more than 28 million people have stepped onto Go West Transit buses in the Macomb area, according to Western Illinois University’s Go West page.
In January, the Go West app’s tracking system became outdated and started to malfunction. Users of the app were unable to track the buses in real time. Macomb Transit Director Miranda Lambert said the 3G trackers that had been used lost their touch in comparison to the newer 5G technology.
“Most of our devices were 3G, a few of them we had at 5G,” Lambert said. “We’ve had to replace, over time, 3G ones due to making more room for 5G networks system. They took 3G offline… a bit less than 75 percent of our devices.”
A few buses are still able to be tracked on the app, the ones where the trackers had already been replaced. The app is still useful in that it will show which bus routes are running and the estimated times of arrival. However, the real time tracking will be down until the new 5G trackers and app are fully installed and developed.
Lambert explained that with the new app, she wants to see a more user-friendly interface. The tracking will come back, but Lambert hopes to give the app a new face as well. She said that they are looking to other big transit system apps like Springfield and Galesburg to give inspiration for the new app.
As of right now, no software companies have proposed a bid for the new app, but Lambert hopes that the new app will be available by fall semester of this year. To keep up to date on bus systems, follow the Go West Facebook or download the app for estimated times of arrival.