Public transportation systems are incorporating new services to help riders better plan their commutes.
The MTA has been testing a new feature called BusTime to keep riders informed on the arrival times for buses.
While currently being tested in a limited fashion on two bus lines, the attached GPS modules track and estimate the arrival time for each stop similar the arrival time features that currently exist in some of the MTA’s subway lines. Riders are then able to receive this information on their mobile devices through a browser or SMS. Other cities that have implemented tracking and arrival tools include San Francisco, Ottawa, and Chicago.
Real-time traffic data can benefit riders and transit providers. Potential uses include identifying areas for service efficiencies. The company implementing the tracking technology, Clever Devices, also outlines additional features their on-board devices can provide; engine monitoring to improve maintenance, automatic passenger counting and remote access to control and locate vehicles.