Dude, where's my bus? 

Uncovered: GRTC's plan to offer live bus tracking on your phone.

click to enlarge FLICKR/FAUNGG

The GRTC finally has an answer to the most pressing question facing public transit users in Richmond: Did I miss the bus or is it late again?

Introducing live bus tracking via text or on your smartphone: It has been in the works for a while now, and the local transit authority still isn’t quite ready to release it, but a beta version has gone live at grtcbustracker.com. A dedicated app is on the way.

Taber Bain, a bus rider, discovered the site Wednesday after he started noticing new stop IDs appearing on signs at bus stops. He says all it took was a Google search for “GRTC bus tracker.”

The site provides estimated bus arrivals times, some of which are already working, and a map showing where exactly your bus is at any given time. That latter feature doesn’t appear to be up and running yet.

A GRTC spokeswoman said last week that the authority plans to announce the website in the next month. She otherwise declined to discuss the project.

At a Nov. 15 meeting sponsored by the Partnership for Smarter Growth, GRTC planning director Larry Hagin said that in addition to the aforementioned desktop and mobile-web platform, it plans to introduce a phone app in about three months.

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