By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Apr 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Milwaukee County Transit System has launched beta testing of real-time bus tracking information, allowing riders to know exactly where a bus is at all times, on Route 21, which runs through North Avenue.

The system will use schedule information and an existing GPS tracking system to estimate when the next bus will arrive based on the last reported location. Using this tracking system, passengers can access information to learn when their bus is predicted to arrive at a specific bus stop.

The company Clever Devices is translating the raw data that will power the tracking via the MCTS website, mobile devices and the telephone system.

If a rider uses a computer or a mobile device, they will be able to see the MCTS Bus Tracker, which will offer two viewing options: a table which shows routes and estimated bus arrival times and a map showing selected routes with icons on the selected route to signify the location of buses.

"This is just one example of the technological enhancements we are providing to facilitate greater ease for those riding MCTS buses; it is a catalyst to increasing ridership," said Mike Giugno, managing director of MCTS and president of MTS.

Operational tweaks will be made over the next several months as additional routes are added to the system. Each route will be tested for accuracy before it is made available to the public.

You can receive estimated arrival times by texting MCTS (bus stop number) to 41411 or by calling the information line at (414) 344-6711. For more information, visit the MCTS website.