Computer Science student develops nextbus extension to predict bus arrival times

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

  • Nextbus extension proves to be a useful tool in predicting transit times

    Nextbus extension proves to be a useful tool in predicting transit times

Written by Stephanie Rennie

 Students are all too familiar with the feeling of watching the bus soaring by as you sprint towards the bus stop, out of breath and out of time.

An Undergraduate student at the University of Guelph managed to find not only the time, but the skills and resources necessary to create a nextbus extension to assist students in making it to class on time.

Kelvin Lau is a fourth year Computer Science student that created a nextbus extension as a hobby. Kelvin has future ambitions to have a career in the field of computer programming and technical support.

Lau launched the nextbus extension in September following its creation throughout the month of August.

When asked what inspired Kelvin to create this feature, he commented that he was looking for a project and “my friend told me it is a good idea to create something practical and lots of students take the bus.” Lau gained many of the skills necessary to create such a complex extension during his time at the University of Guelph.

Since many students are accustomed to using Next Bus on the City of Guelph website, the extension functions similarly to ensure simplicity and familiarity among the student body. Nextbus allows students to receive a predicted time of bus arrivals based on their location. Lau’s major focus was on Guelph transit, though the extension also predicts bus times for Thunder Bay and Toronto.

Lau suggests that his helpful nextbus extension will assist students at the University of Guelph in not only “catching their bus on time, [but also] giving people a better understanding of routes.”

As part of the extension, Lau also implemented a live map function that is linked from Next Bus. The live map function allows people to experience a live view of the bus routes.

The future of the nextbus extension involves broadening its compatibility to not only be supported by Google Chrome, but also by Firefox. This will allow more students to access the bus information. Lau has been publicizing his nextbus feature through Facebook and Reddit Guelph in hopes to reach his goal of one hundred users.

To access the nextbus extension visit https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/bkonffiagffjhnihbboojciggcplmobc#



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