Trainspotter 0 Posted November 4, 2008 Share #1 Posted November 4, 2008 $99M GPS plan for buses stalls BY PETE DONOHUE DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER November 3rd 2008 [float=right][/float]NYC Transit may pull the plug on a troubled $99 million project to track buses and post "real" arrival times on bus-stop message boards, the Daily News has learned. Officials have halted some work "pending a decision on the future of the project," according to a report by the agency's outside engineering consultant. NYC Transit lawyers also are reviewing legal options, according to the report, which says the contractor is two years behind schedule and still having technical problems with the GPS tracking system. "It's a dirty, rotten shame," Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said. "A bus locator system could greatly improve bus service with better dispatching and more real-time information. If your car's GPS can guide you around town, I don't see why buses can't do the same." The report by the Carter-Burgess engineering firm refers to problems in general terms, citing software issues, a high failure rate of onboard equipment and inaccurate arrival times relayed to message boards placed on just a handful of routes in Manhattan so far. Citing inaccurate data, bus managers turned off the dozen or so electronic informational screens that had been installed along East Side bus routes. NYC Transit spokesman Paul Fleuranges declined to comment on the work done by Continental AG, an international electronics firm. A Continental spokeswoman said in a statement that the company is reviewing the Carter-Burgess report and "continues to work with the MTA on the successful completion of the New York City Transit project." The company also contends that the system has met contract requirements and is ready to advance the project, according to the report. NYC Transit signed an approximately $13 million contract for an "Automated Vehicle Locator" system with a division of the Siemens corporation in 2005. The base contract with the division, later purchased by Continental, involved rigging 185 buses running routes on the East Side. The base contract gives NYC Transit two options to expand the bus-tracking and related technology to its entire fleet at a cost of approximately $99 million. The agency has been on a Holy Grail-like quest for such a system. It hired a company for the job in 1996 but fired it four years later for poor performance. Over the years, efforts have been hampered by the inability to maintain continuous signals amid Manhattan's office towers, officials have said. Another problem was calculating arrival times through unpredictable traffic. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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