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Via Garibaldi 8

Where Are We With Automated Announcements on Buses?

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I was a local bus the other day that had automated announcements.  I was surprised because it wasn't on the M31 or M57, which is really the only lines that I've heard such announcements on.  However, I'm rather surprised at how slow this process has been going.  I'm under the impression that these announcements are made using the bus tracking system that's now available (BusTime or perhaps BusTrek?).  Why has this been so slow to roll out? This first appeared on the 57th street lines years ago. I can remember them on an RTS bus I was on.  BusTime has been out since late 2012, and almost six years later, we still don't have automated announcements on a majority of the buses despite how many new ones are rolling out. The automated announcements are A LOT better than the garbled noise on the express buses.  You can go an entire ride without understanding one announcement from the B/O, as was the case last night on the BxM1 bus I was on.

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The batches of the various New New Flyer buses coming in have automated announcements.

 

 

Some of the 7300s have them as well, however the ones transferred from FB to UP don't have UP routes programmed on them. It's funny as the xn60s have GH routes programmed into them even though they weren't planned to go to that depot.

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15 minutes ago, trainfan22 said:

The batches of the various New New Flyer buses coming in have automated announcements.

 

 

Some of the 7300s have them as well, however the ones transferred from FB to UP don't have UP routes programmed on them. It's funny as the xn60s have GH routes programmed into them even though they weren't planned to go to that depot.

They (as in Ulmer Park) need to get them programmed in. I believe they are scheduled to get about 10-15 more of those 73xx buses from Flatbush, than their batch of 77xx buses will be coming in. Those will come installed and programmed for Ulmer Park routes. 

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There’s a KB bus programmed (a LFSA) with automated announcements too. I rode it on the Bx9 but I’ve forgotten the number of the bus...

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7 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

There’s a KB bus programmed (a LFSA) with automated announcements too. I rode it on the Bx9 but I’ve forgotten the number of the bus...

59XX something? The bus I rode was a Kingsbridge bus (Bx1).  Only for like two stops to the subway at Broadway and 231st from Riverdale and 231st, but I immediately noticed it.

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The rollout has looked pretty slow far. The LFS-A from Casey Stengel have them (I think), a few of the Hale SBS wrapped LFS-A have them also, as well as some C40LF (At least Spring Creek). I heard that screens trialed on some Orions the Bx30 but I don't know if that's true??

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5 minutes ago, Orion6025 said:

The rollout has looked pretty slow far. The LFS-A from Casey Stengel have them (I think), a few of the Hale SBS wrapped LFS-A have them also, as well as some C40LF (At least Spring Creek). I heard that screens trialed on some Orions the Bx30 but I don't know if that's true??

Their is at least one GH NG that has the screen and announcement, forgot the number though. Some of the SBS NGs at YUK have them as well.

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The Nova LFSA's that run on the M103 have a fun error going on with their announcements.

M103 Limited to Canarsie, Williams Av (going to Harlem)
M103 Limited to Brooklyn College, Flatbush Av (going to City Hall)

Since they share the same destination sign code, the automated system can't distinguish between MTA Bus and NYCB.
I would assume M103's that short turn to 6th St would read/speak out M103 Limited to Downtown Brooklyn, Tillary St.

Hopefully this answers why they're rolling this out spotty.

Edited by Rick44
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51 minutes ago, Rick44 said:

The Nova LFSA's that run on the M103 have a fun error going on with their announcements.

M103 Limited to Canarsie, Williams Av (going to Harlem)
M103 Limited to Brooklyn College, Flatbush Av (going to City Hall)

Since they share the same destination sign code, the automated system can't distinguish between MTA Bus and NYCB.
I would assume M103's that short turn to 6th St would read/speak out M103 Limited to Downtown Brooklyn, Tillary St.

Hopefully this answers why they're rolling this out spotty.

When is this getting fixed?

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13 minutes ago, JeremiahC99 said:

When is this getting fixed?

Lol, idk.

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I thought the automated announcements started on the then M16 and 34 in 2009 when the first batch of NG's came out. 

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As others have said, new buses have been delivered with them (the 2018 XD40s and XN60s; 8504 and the 2018 LFSs are also coming with them)...

I'm hoping that they start ramping up retrofits (as only the pilot buses and some MTA Bus C40s have them)

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27 minutes ago, Q43LTD said:

I thought the automated announcements started on the then M16 and 34 in 2009 when the first batch of NG's came out. 

They're always intermittent.  They appear on a bus or two, then it disappears. It's like a trial run that never ends.  <_<

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What's annoying is that when it breaks down it can't be turned off. On the S79 I've had a couple of buses where it announced the stops in a slow, garbled voice and I'm thinking "Geez, we have to deal with this for the hour ride to the mall?" I feel worse for the B/O who has to hear it for the whole shift.

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They only just got approved to spread across the system a few months ago if I recall correctly.

The pilot was two years on 200 buses and they first appeared in 2016. I will say this, the announcements on the C40s in Queens sound natural compared to the ones on the Novas and XDs on SBS services.

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12 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

What's annoying is that when it breaks down it can't be turned off. On the S79 I've had a couple of buses where it announced the stops in a slow, garbled voice and I'm thinking "Geez, we have to deal with this for the hour ride to the mall?" I feel worse for the B/O who has to hear it for the whole shift.

The system on the new 76XX XD40's buses is an updated system. Seem's like a pre-recorded setup (Subway) more than text to speech.. But speech systems are more phonetically accurate nowadays so could've been. These are on the SBS46 btw. So what's that FB depot?

Edited by RailRunRob
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1 hour ago, RailRunRob said:

The system on the new 76XX XD40's buses is an updated system. Seem's like a pre-recorded setup (Subway) more than text to speech.. But speech systems are more phonetically accurate nowadays so could've been. These are on the SBS46 btw. So what's that FB depot?

Nah pretty sure the 76xx XD40s still use text-to-speech albeit more realistic sounding than the hideously slow and cringeworthy Microsoft Zira voice that came with the test screens on the 73xxs. Otherwise, they shouldn't be announcing "Utica Avenue and Av North" instead of "Utica Avenue and Avenue N" if it was pre-recorded.

Edit: Speaking of Microsoft, I find it hilarious that they all use some version of Windows Embedded whenever the screens encounter some sort of error dialog box.

Edited by RTSTdrive
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5 minutes ago, RTSTdrive said:

Nah pretty sure the 76xx XD40s still use text-to-speech albeit more realistic sounding than the hideously slow and cringeworthy Microsoft Zira voice that came with the test screens on the 73xxs. Otherwise, they shouldn't be announcing "Utica Avenue and Av North" instead of "Utica Avenue and Avenue N" if it was pre-recorded.

 

Indeed that makes sense.. I think Microsoft updated the Runtime languages not so long ago. Great observation.  I was just playing with some of the TTS options on Mac super realistic why I kept that possibility open.  

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15 minutes ago, RTSTdrive said:

Nah pretty sure the 76xx XD40s still use text-to-speech albeit more realistic sounding than the hideously slow and cringeworthy Microsoft Zira voice that came with the test screens on the 73xxs. Otherwise, they shouldn't be announcing "Utica Avenue and Av North" instead of "Utica Avenue and Avenue N" if it was pre-recorded.

Edit: Speaking of Microsoft, I find it hilarious that they all use some version of Windows Embedded whenever the screens encounter some sort of error dialog box.

Are the new B46 SBS XD40s announcing “Utica Avenue and Av North”?

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23 minutes ago, JeremiahC99 said:

Are the new B46 SBS XD40s announcing “Utica Avenue and Av North”?

Yeah. It's an updated system like he said, but it still has flaws.

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8 minutes ago, Rick44 said:

Yeah. It's an updated system like he said, but it still has flaws.

So those flaws will be fixed in a few weeks, and will they add the transfer announcements on those new buses as well?

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1 hour ago, JeremiahC99 said:

So those flaws will be fixed in a few weeks, and will they add the transfer announcements on those new buses as well?

Idk if those flaws will be fixed in a few weeks lol. Idk if they're adding the transfers in short order either.

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16 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

What's annoying is that when it breaks down it can't be turned off. On the S79 I've had a couple of buses where it announced the stops in a slow, garbled voice and I'm thinking "Geez, we have to deal with this for the hour ride to the mall?" I feel worse for the B/O who has to hear it for the whole shift.

"Ppplllllleeeeeeeaaaaaaaaasssssssssseeeeeeeeee Eeeeeeeexxxxxxxxxxxxiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttt tttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuu ttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeee rrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr ddddddddddooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"

I went through that on the Bx3 once..... It was one loooonnnngggg trip to Washington Heights that day.

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