GRTA embraces technology to improve operations; eyes Uber-like system

Guam Regional Transit Authority (PNC file photo)

The Guam Regional Transit Authority is making use of more technology to improve its operations.

During its budget hearing today, GRTA executive manager Celestin Babuta said GRTA has converted its transit operations from manual processes to more use of computers and technology.

As a result, dispatchers are able to track the location of buses in real-time and can determine whether they are running on time.

In addition, GRTA is also able to determine the exact number of riders on the bus and who are on the bus.

“We are able to collect data that we will need for reporting and decision-making,” Babauta said.

Because of the efficiencies brought on by technology, Babuta said paratransit riders are no longer being denied transportation to their medical appointments.

“The homeless veterans, for the first time, are being provided with transportation to their appointments to find jobs and bring them to their work sites,” Babauta said.

Thanks to Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio, Babauta said GRTA was able to win $11 million in competitive grants through competition with other transit agencies throughout the United States.

The funds will be used to purchase electric buses and electric cars as well as build electric charging stations.

In addition, GRTA also plans to procure technology for a transportation management system.

“We will also be building a Park and Ride facility in the village of Dededo to help reduce traffic congestion,” Babuta said.

In line with its embrace of technology, GRTA has already started work with the University of Guam on an “Uber-like” system that would enable GRTA to provide “mobility on demand.”

GRTA consultants are also close to completing the architectural engineering design of its planned expanded facility that will house the agency’s maintenance operations and administration under a single roof.

To upgrade its fleet of buses, Babauta said 10 ADA-compliant buses are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.

GRTA has also submitted procurement documents for an additional six ADA-compliant buses set for delivery by February 2022.