Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Sign in to follow this  
Shortline Bus

Finally. After a deacade, new 'trial computer countdown displays returns to Manhattan

Recommended Posts

Just a week after Mayor Bloomberg proposed countdown clocks for all major NYC subway and bus stops, a new 'pilot' program will soon start in Manhattan.

Here the NY Times story from their 8/11/09 online editions.

 

 

 

Miracle on 34th Street: Bus Arrival Times

By Michael M. Grynbaum

NY Times Writing Staff

August 11, 2009

Source http://WWW.NYTIMES.COM

 

 

 

Electronic countdown displays will be installed along the M34 and M16 crosstown bus routes, showing when the next bus will arrive.

Trying to catch a bus across 34th Street? Soon you’ll know just how long you’ll have to wait.

 

Electronic countdown displays will be installed at shelters along the heavily trafficked 34th Street crosstown route, allowing riders to see how many minutes are left until the next bus shows up, according to two officials familiar with the plans.

 

Satellite tracking and G.P.S. devices will allow computers at the bus stop to estimate arrival times, as part of a pilot program organized by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city’s transportation department. The project is set to be announced on Tuesday by city officials, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

 

The bus-tracking technology will be installed and provided for free by Clever Devices, a Long Island-based firm that implemented a similar system in Chicago in 2006, the officials said. After an initial pilot stage, the Chicago program – dubbed Bus Tracker — was later expanded to that city’s entire bus route, and now includes online and mobile applications.

 

Tracking systems are commonplace in other major cities like London and Washington, D.C., where subway straphangers know exactly when the next train will arrive. (The accuracy is high, if not 100 percent.) In New York, electronic displays are already installed on the L train.

 

It isn’t the first time that New York has attempted to provide bus customers with a more precise estimate of when their ride will arrive. In fall 2007, the city tested a similar satellite-based system along First and Second Avenues, which also included digital signs that displayed the number of minutes until the next bus.

 

That system was plagued by technical errors, and abandoned after just four months. Transit officials said the 34th Street pilot program would avoid the same problems.

 

The announcement of the program comes a week after Mayor Bloomberg announced a wide-ranging campaign platform to improve the city’s mass transit infrastructure.

 

The mayor pledged to install some form of tracking technology along half of the city’s bus routes by 2013. His plan also noted that buses along 34th Street will use “mesh network technology, similar to that used to track military vehicles in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

 

The M34 and M16 bus routes run along the length of 34th Street.

 

c)2009 NY Times, Inc.

 

Reactions/Comments?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there should be plan that GPS system should be installed

on Bx12 Select Bus Service line , and Bx19.

while Bx12 , Bx19 are consider the busiest route.

didn't (MTA) installed GPS system for M15 and M116.

but it had failed. those 2 route.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
there should be plan that GPS system should be installed

on Bx12 Select Bus Service line , and Bx19.

while Bx12 , Bx19 are consider the busiest route.

didn't (MTA) installed GPS system for M15 and M116.

but it had failed. those 2 route.

 

 

While it thankfully its here, I agree that the next two bus line that need this GPS should be the BX12 SBS and M15 SBS planned to start next June in 2010.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there's a delay i want to know vs standing out of cell range (no alert lookup) waiting in fare control area not knowing wasting my time throwing my schedule off. How about external clocks also on 24 hour entrance/exits?

 

- A

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
there should be plan that GPS system should be installed

on Bx12 Select Bus Service line , and Bx19.

while Bx12 , Bx19 are consider the busiest route.

didn't (MTA) installed GPS system for M15 and M116.

but it had failed. those 2 route.

 

Yes keep M15/M34 on hold! Bx12 needs this, as its SBS, the m15 wont be SBS till 2010 so MaBSTOA needs them installed on that SBS route in the Bronx. Bx19.. erm i guess since its the harvest used.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too hopeful about this technology given the fact that it failed before. Let it run on the M15/M34, if it works they can expand the technology to the lines that really need it. And think about it, M34 is now almost like SBS except without pre-boarding fare collection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Err, the bus stops all have a metal box on the stop signpost with the schedules printed on the side. The scheduled (or expected) arrival time of the bus is posted on the sides of the box.

 

All one needs to calculate the expected waiting time is a clock to compare the current time to the scheduled arrival. Sometimes low-tech is the way to go.

 

I understand that buses don't always arrive on schedule, but Manhattan buses aren't ever that late. Most crosstown buses are so slow anyway that it would be impossible to arrive any later if the bus was moving at all. Because they put a lot of buses on the road on busy crosstown streets, e.g. 14th, 23rd, 34th, 50th and so on, slow buses do not mean long waits simply because there are so many of them.

 

I do not understand the need to implement this technology on buses. An arrival time countdown is best used in the subway, as already demonstrated on the (L) (contrary to what people say about it, I have not known the system to ever fail, and I ride the (L) all the time). Single-lines (no separate express and local service) with CBTC are ideal candidates for this, so the (7) would be another line that could use it (though it doesn't have CBTC right now).

 

People desperate enough to take a bus that moves as slowly as most people walk probably do not care when their bus arrives, as long as it does eventually. If I take a crosstown bus in Manhattan, I do so with enough time in hand to get where I want to go, so slow buses or erratic arrivals don't affect me.

 

EDIT: It appears a version of "how long it will take to get there" technology existed back in 1905:

722px-Interborough_Rattled_Transit_Restored.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DART is trying this out in the Downtown (Central Business District), along with a GPS tracking system that is hooked into the main DART website to where you can find out where the bus is and how long it will take to get to you, all from the palm of your hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.