The US public transport system’s on the edge of an ‘i’ revolution, with Irish tech firm Mapflow offering new technology that promises to let iPhone owners look up bus transit info, check maps and pay for fares from their device.

The new tech recently made its appearance at the American Public Transit Association (APTA) annual meeting. The technology is called Avego Futurefleet and is the latest development from the firm, which has developed mapping systems for the European Space Agency and the AA.

The central notion to the software is the design of a solution that could reduce the number of empty seats on various modes of transport. The solution can be deployed in weeks and costs a fraction of other similar systems.

The system includes a free online journey planner capability to give instant scheduling and fare information and ticketing options to passengers either online or via the iPhone. Passengers can also get journey planners, scheduling and other info sent to them via SMS or email; transit operators gain web ticketing, vehicle tracking and more – and the system’s been tested by Ireland’s largest private bus operator, Kavanagh and Sons.

"In today’s environment, with rising gas prices, every empty seat represents untapped revenue potential for a transport operator," said Sean O’Sullivan, Mapflow Chairman. "Avego recognizes the tremendous cost advantage of bus systems over other forms of transport, and is helping operators tap into burgeoning customer demand by enabling operators to offer these seats in real-time to tech-savvy consumers."

Avego will be available as a free download for individuals on the iPhone Appstore in the coming months (we plan on waiting for Apple Push capability, due soon, before releasing).

The company has products for both commercial transport providers (buses, shuttle services, DRT services), as well as for the consumer, in betas and pilots worldwide. And here’s a little video clip from the company…

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