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Lance

Countdown Clocks to Arrive on LinkNYC Kiosks

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Courtesy: Matthey Flamm, Crain's New York

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LinkNYC kiosks to double as bus countdown clocks

New Yorkers planning to board a bus near a LinkNYC kiosk will soon know how many stops away the next bus is.

In the next few weeks, the kiosks will begin displaying information about buses up to one-third mile away. The countdowns will appear between the advertisements and other public information notices that cycle across the screens.

The countdown clocks will appear today on 29 kiosks in Brooklyn as the first step in the citywide rollout. There are now close to 1,500 Link kiosks running and an additional 266 waiting to be activated.

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“To me, it is one element of the overall bus turnaround effort,” said Councilman Brad Lander, who began asking LinkNYC to post bus-arrival information in September, around the same time countdown clocks went up at bus stops in Park Slope, which is in his district. “Good service and good information together will increase ridership.”

The Link kiosks will provide for free a service for which City Council members had been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Lander was among the City Council members who began allocating discretionary funds for the bus countdown clocks in 2014, two years before the city announced its plan to replace pay phones with some 7,500 Link kiosks. He said that, in the future, he would only want taxpayer-funded countdown clocks at bus stops that did not have Links nearby.

A LinkNYC spokeswoman described its bus countdowns as “on the road map” of things the operator had planned to include in its programming, but that the councilman’s interest helped speed up their introduction.

The Link network, the product of a public-private partnership, provides free gigabit-speed Wi-Fi funded by advertising revenue from the screens. Transit information is seen as a key component of the network, said the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, which guided its creation as overseer of the franchise agreement with Link’s operator.

“Strategically, what’s going on is this vision we have around transforming the Link from being just the means by which we get high-speed public Wi-Fi to really being a digital public service assistant,” said DoITT Commissioner Samir Saini.

 

It's nice to finally see those kiosk displays being used for something other than ad revenue. Speaking of which, you'd think all of those new digital ad screens at the bus shelters would show arrivals as well...

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16 minutes ago, Lance said:

 Speaking of which, you'd think all of those new digital ad screens at the bus shelters would show arrivals as well...

But if they did that we wouldn't "know" about apps to order Pizza or have BdB telling bus riders to not text and drive.

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I've seen them display subway information on the Upper West Side, which is helpful.  I'm not really a fan of the countdown bus stops though, because they only show how many minutes one bus is from each line.  The countdown clocks used along the M79 are excellent. I complained about them not working but they now do, so when I wait anywhere along the line, I can see when ALL buses at the bus will come.  They will show the BxM2, the M79 and they will show I think up to three buses for each line, which is fantastic, this way if the bus is packed, you don't have to sit there with your phone in all sorts of weather trying to see when the next bus will come.  Very convenient.  

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7 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

I've seen them display subway information on the Upper West Side, which is helpful.  I'm not really a fan of the countdown bus stops though, because they only show how many minutes one bus is from each line.  The countdown clocks used along the M79 are excellent. I complained about them not working but they now do, so when I wait anywhere along the line, I can see when ALL buses at the bus will come.  They will show the BxM2, the M79 and they will show I think up to three buses for each line, which is fantastic, this way if the bus is packed, you don't have to sit there with your phone in all sorts of weather trying to see when the next bus will come.  Very convenient.  

 

Are you referring to those free-standing things that have a map at the bottom and then a screen with yellow dots at the top showing the arrivals (like on 34th street or on the M15)?

 

THere's one in Queens that was installed and worked for all of one month before the screen died. I emailed both DOT and MTA about it, both of whom said the other agency was responsible for it. Meanwhile, it never got fixed. Who did you complain to to get the M79 ones fixed?

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16 minutes ago, QM1to6Ave said:

 

Are you referring to those free-standing things that have a map at the bottom and then a screen with yellow dots at the top showing the arrivals (like on 34th street or on the M15)?

 

THere's one in Queens that was installed and worked for all of one month before the screen died. I emailed both DOT and MTA about it, both of whom said the other agency was responsible for it. Meanwhile, it never got fixed. Who did you complain to to get the M79 ones fixed?

Are you kidding me?? lol Yeah the M15 has some also, but the M79 seems to have one at just about every stop, which I find very interesting, but I'm not surprised given the areas that it serves.  I suspect that someone put up some serious monies for those because most elected officials give money for the more simple ones that look like bus stops and just show the amount of minutes next to the bus route.  Either way it's very obvious that they set up the M79 to be successful and it's become one of my favorite local bus lines in the city. Buses are usually prompt, and never too packed like the M86, and they've been putting the newest buses on the line too. I use it at least twice a week if not more coming back and  forth from the Upper East to the Upper West Side and to reach the BxM1 and BxM2.

As for me complaining, I never did. I just noticed it working one VERY cold night while I was waiting at the Central Park West and West 81st street stop and was about to pull out my phone and it showed two BxM2 buses due. 

In your case, I would keep on them.  I know for sure that the DOT handles the regular bus stops, but I'm not sure who handles those screen thingys.  My councilman had us vote on which project we wanted and I contacted his office asking for countdown clocks for my neighborhood.  He supposedly allocated monies for some but none are here yet. There's only one down by the (1) train at 231st and Broadway.  The one you have is nice as I'm sure it shows all of the Union Turnpike express buses and several at a time.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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1 hour ago, Italianstallion said:

Uh, those Linky things are not normally installed at or near bus stops. So how is this helpful?

They are still being installed and more and more of them are near bus stops.  For example, on the Upper East Side, they are installed right near bus stops in some cases.  The bus stop at Madison and 84th has one right by the corner, and there's several along 3rd avenue near 86th street near bus stops. It takes time to install them as they get rid of the old phone booths.

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