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East New York

MTA's On-board Audio/Visual Test & Evaluation

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With new buses, come new technology which will bring the bus fleet in line with other major bus systems around North America. Approximately two months ago, MTA gave the go ahead to start design of the new Audio/Visual system for buses.

 

This project will start off as a pilot program, and MTA will fit 200 buses spread out between all 5 boroughs with LED information boards. These boards will provide real time information, as well as next stop announcements similar to the systems that were on the Orion M34 SBS fleet. These systems will be installed on buses starting in May 2015 as long as the program remains on schedule. If the pilot program is successful, MTA will install them on the rest of the fleet starting with the newer buses first. At this time it is not known which 200 buses will receive the systems first. As more information becomes available, I will be sure to post.

Edited by East New York
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This should be on each of the SBS routes to start IMO.

 

I remember the first M34 pilot program. What amazed me was that they even bothered to update the announcements for the new M34A just before the pilot program ended.

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Will there be route announcements too?

 

"WELCOME TO ROUTE B64,SERVICE TO BAY RIDGE-SHORE ROAD

Is that SEPTA, I thought their automated system was outdated?

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It is now confirmed the contract is going to Clever Devices. If the pilot test and evaluation program is successful, MTA will then go ahead and install the system on buses fleetwide at both NYCT and MTAB divisions.

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It is now confirmed the contract is going to Clever Devices. If the pilot test and evaluation program is successful, MTA will then go ahead and install the system on buses fleetwide at both NYCT and MTAB divisions.

Should be an easy install with the Clever Device units already in most of the newer buses for the diagnostic system and "please exit through the rear door".

 

Are they gonna put announcements in the express buses too like NJT did?

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Should be an easy install with the Clever Device units already in most of the newer buses for the diagnostic system and "please exit through the rear door".

 

Are they gonna put announcements in the express buses too like NJT did?

 

Got your wish, eh? I do look forward to them installing them signs and stuff. Might not make sense on local routes where stops are so close that there's no time for an announcement, but would definitely help on limited and SBS buses.

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Should be an easy install with the Clever Device units already in most of the newer buses for the diagnostic system and "please exit through the rear door".

 

Are they gonna put announcements in the express buses too like NJT did?

 

From what I understand this does include express buses if the pilot is successful. However, it is unclear if express buses are included in the pilot program though.

 

As far as that "Please exit through the rear door" announcement, that's Class Sensing door by Vapor, which is unrelated to Clever Devices.

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From what I understand this does include express buses if the pilot is successful. However, it is unclear if express buses are included in the pilot program though.

 

As far as that "Please exit through the rear door" announcement, that's Class Sensing door by Vapor, which is unrelated to Clever Devices.

They're sure gonna love that... LOL. The Route 9 crowd in NJ sure did and now the system's basically silent, at least on rush hour runs.

 

It's from the Clever Device as are most of the PSA announcements not coming from over the radio or service change related, the touch yellow tape to open is from the Vapor thing. Notice how buses with the Clever Device but without the Vapor tape doors (like the older NGs and 3563) still make that announcement.

Edited by Orion VII 4 Life

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They're sure gonna love that... LOL. The Route 9 crowd in NJ sure did and now the system's basically silent, at least on rush hour runs.

 

It's from the Clever Device as are most of the PSA announcements not coming from over the radio or service change related, the touch yellow tape to open is from the Vapor thing. Notice how buses with the Clever Device but without the Vapor tape doors (like the older NGs and 3563) still make that announcement.

 

The tape doesn't have anything to do with it. All MTA bus doors are made by a company called Vapor Bus International. All new Nova LFS(A), XD40, Orion E10's, and most of the NG's have a newer door model called Class. The Class Annunciation is where the "Please Exit Through the Rear Door's" comes from, as well as the "Touch Yellow Tape/Handle to open door " The newest of the buses also have the Class Sensing system. "Please Move Away From the Doors"

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The tape doesn't have anything to do with it. All MTA bus doors are made by a company called Vapor Bus International. All new Nova LFS(A), XD40, Orion E10's, and most of the NG's have a newer door model called Class. The Class Annunciation is where the "Please Exit Through the Rear Door's" comes from, as well as the "Touch Yellow Tape/Handle to open door " The newest of the buses also have the Class Sensing system. "Please Move Away From the Doors"

I was told it's from the Clever Device and it seems pretty obvious, after all it's the same voice as "bus operators are protected by NYS law" which I know comes from there. Plus the buses before the '08 NGs don't make the announcement (installation of the Clever Devices started with those buses) and with 3563 it didn't make that announcement until after the repowering when a Clever Device was added (you can tell by the cone shaped antenna on the roof that the other OGs don't have), plus it doesn't have those other Vapor announcements and neither do the oldest NGs. The Vapor system also has a dedicated speaker at the rear door where the Clever Device announcements come over the bus sound system.

Edited by Orion VII 4 Life

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I understand what you are saying. The PA system is by Clever, as they are on all MTA buses. (Even The RTS and Orion V buses) It's the Speak Easy. However the newer one's only work with the Vapor system in conjunction with the rear door announcement.

 

Notice the door system is in Green. (Vapor) The PA system is in Red. (Clever). It is my understanding that "Please exit through the rear door" is not available on any other systems. Thus saying that, I don't know of any bus companies out there that have that same announcement that don't have a Vapor door system.

 

Image Source - Clever Devices.

 

AVA.jpg

Edited by East New York
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I understand what you are saying. The PA system is by Clever, as they are on all MTA buses. (Even The RTS and Orion V buses) It's the Speak Easy. However the newer one's only work with the Vapor system in conjunction with the rear door announcement.

 

Notice the door system is in Green. (Vapor) The PA system is in Red. (Clever). It is my understanding that "Please exit through the rear door" is not available on any other systems. Thus saying that, I don't know of any bus companies out there that have that same announcement that don't have a Vapor door system.

 

Image Source - Clever Devices.

 

AVA.jpg

The Speak Easy is just a handsfree microphone. They also have that "IVN Controller Bus" which runs the auto announcements and diagnostics monitoring, the Speak Easy is in every original TA bus while the IVN is only in buses 2008+. The rear door/PSAs are custom announcements programmed into the IVN. Everything's a custom order with Clever when it comes to the announcements. Examples:

 

The MTA has rear door announcement when a stop gets requested (triggered by the stop request system and not the doors, has nothing to do with the door system at all) and there's certain PSAs the MTA runs like "bus operators are protected by NYS Law", in NJ the stop request button triggers a "ding" from the IVN (in addition to the standard stop ding the bus itself plays) and they have a different set of PSAs like those telling people to report suspicious activity to the NJTPD.

Edited by Orion VII 4 Life

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Ok, well maybe I'm wrong, but I could have swarn when I was at APTA at the Vapor booth, which was near Clever Devices it was mentioned that that was a feature. On the XN60 which was eventually going to a Canadian operator had the same "Please Exit Through the Rear Doors." I know what you are talking about with the IVN. Maybe it's just a coincidence that's all the operations that have that same message have Vapor doors.

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On a DC trip, I rode Metrobus Line 32 which had audio/visuals, which was something along the lines of:

 

"This is a 32 bus to Friendship Heights" - when the bus started boarding.

"Stop requested, M Street" - when a stop was requested.

And of course you regular safety announcments.

 

Also an LED sign above the boarding area read the date, time, and which street we were passing, so there was a GPS built in.

 

We might see something like that.

 

Edit: The diagram in Pg. 2 clearly describes what I just tried to explain, look at that one :P

Edited by DailyDose

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On a DC trip, I rode Metrobus Line 32 which had audio/visuals, which was something along the lines of:

 

"This is a 32 bus to Friendship Heights" - when the bus started boarding.

"Stop requested, M Street" - when a stop was requested.

And of course you regular safety announcments.

 

Also an LED sign above the boarding area read the date, time, and which street we were passing, so there was a GPS built in.

 

We might see something like that.

 

Edit: The diagram in Pg. 2 clearly describes what I just tried to explain, look at that one :P

That's exactly what we'll see. Same system as DC, NJT, NICE and others.

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I was on a LFS on the S52 back in 2012, and when the doors opened, and announcement played. It said "S52, Staten island hospital bound: main entrance".

 

Idkk if that was some sort of test.

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For those that were wondeing why I created this thread in the BT&E sub-forum, it's because I was informed the TA would run a test program to qualify a few companies to produce the new audio-visual system similar to the way buses are now qualified. MTA has now in fact done just that, and awarded contracts to 3 different manufaturers for test and expensive evaluation.

 

 

1. Vianova Technologies (Germaringen, Germany): $579,564

2. Strategic Mapping, Inc. (Toronto, Canada): $614,044

3. Clever Devices Ltd. (Woodbury, New York): $420,000

Test and evaluation for the design, provision, installation and maintenance of Digital Information Screens on buses

Discussion:
It is requested that the Board declare competitive bidding impractical or inappropriate pursuant to subdivision 9(d) of Public Authorities Law Section 1209 (“PAL”) and approve the award of three purchase contracts for the test and evaluation of new technologies for the provision of Digital Information Screens on a total of 131 buses. The statute states that contracts awarded under this section of the PAL require a 30-day waiting period after Board action before a contract can be awarded. Purchase contracts will then be awarded to the following three companies: Vianova Technologies GmbH (“Vianova”) in the estimated amount of $579,564, Strategic Mapping, Inc. (“Strategic”) in the estimated amount of $614,044, and Clever Devices Ltd. (“Clever”) in the estimated amount of $420,000. The total estimated value of these purchases will be $1,613,608.

The Department of Buses (“DOB”) has conducted extensive research into Digital Information Screen technologies which are designed to enhance the customer experience on buses by providing audio/visual route and next stop information, planned and unplanned service advisories, as well as geographic specific advertising on screens throughout the bus. This pilot program will allow for several Digital Information Screens systems to be evaluated in order to determine which Digital Information Screens systems work best in the NYC Transit operating environment, qualify companies for future new bus procurements, foster competition and develop a comprehensive specification for use in a future Request for Proposals to retrofit existing buses with a Digital Information Screens system.

A Request for Information was advertised in October 2015 on the MTA website and a series of trade publications. After an extensive outreach, including contacting vendors identified by DOB, Procurement received responses from 16 companies. Ten companies were invited to give oral presentations; each company was given the opportunity to provide an overview of their system’s capabilities, demonstrate their solution and answer questions from a panel of MTA personnel, which included representatives from DOB, Corporate Communications, and Procurement.

Proposals were received from nine of the ten companies in March 2016 (one company elected not to propose). Each submission consisted of both a technical proposal and a price proposal for each of the prospective bus routes (M15, B46 and S79). Once each technical proposal was reviewed and given a technical evaluation, negotiations were conducted with the three companies that received the highest technical evaluations. After a final review, it was determined that Vianova will install its Digital Information Screens on 48 Low Floor 60-foot Nova Bus LFS Articulated buses operating on the M15 route, Strategic will install its Digital Information Screens on 48 Low Floor 40-foot New Flyer Diesel XD40 buses operating on the B46 route, and Clever will install its Digital Information Screens on 35 Low Floor 40-foot Orion VII Hybrid buses operating on the S79 route for a total of 131 Digital Information Screen systems.

Each of these contracts requires the company to design, furnish, install and maintain a complete Digital Information Screen system on a small fleet of buses in the NYC Transit operating environment for one year. Each Digital Information Screen system is comprised of digital screens (two on 40-foot buses and three on 60-foot buses), a video processing unit, and a Content Management System (“CMS”) which allows the programming and management of advertising content to be displayed on each bus from a remote location.

Each company has developed its Digital Information Screen system utilizing different components and software. For example, while the systems offered by Strategic and Vianova utilize a dedicated video processing unit, Clever has incorporated video processing capabilities into its monitors. Additionally, each company is providing a different CMS software which will be evaluated.

Procurement negotiated the best price possible from each company. The variations in pricing arise from differences in the materials, technologies, and design approach utilized by each company. In addition to the hardware and software, the pricing includes one year of CMS hosting, maintenance, and support. Cost Price reviewed the final proposals and determined the pricing from each of the companies to be fair and reasonable.

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