Monday, August 24, 2009

DOT Leads 3rd Try at Bus Arrival Signs

Nearly 7 months ago, the MTA gave up on their second attempt at successfully installing and operating bus arrival signs. The interesting thing about my post was how I titled it "Maybe the Third Time's the Charm." It turns out I was right about that.

Two weeks ago, the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) along with the MTA and Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a new pilot program on 34th St. The displays fit perfectly into the top rectangular box of the Cemusa-designed bus shelters, since they were designed with these signage in mind. It shows the current time and temperature, as well as the next 3 buses due to arrive with their route numbers, destinations, and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA). It uses GPS-technology, which despite the MTA's claims that it was partially the reason for the failure of the last 2 trials, works to relay the bus' current location through an estimation that takes into account traffic patterns. The bottom of the sign also displays "Welcome to New York. It's a Metro Card City. Please visit for more information on the Metro Card". The signs are provided free by a company called Clever Devices, which has successfully worked with Chicago's buses to cover their bus network with similar technology. This is an important step at increasing the reliability of mass transit in NYC, as well as increase its appeal, and I look forward to seeing this technology rolled out to other bus shelters throughout the city.

20090825_34st-3Av_BusArrivalSign, shot myself 8/25

Of course, being NYC, there are its shares of miscreants who just ignore the law by parking or standing in bus lanes. What's worse is when the NYPD does it. This of course can really upset the ETAs of the signs not to mention impede traffic flow.

edited 8/27

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