Keeping MTA Systems Running and
The MTA owns and operates a vast communications network supported by wireless radio systems, more than 3,700 security cameras, and over 975 miles of fiber optic cable.
The MTA Capital Program includes over $4 billion to advance communication initiatives for projects such as Positive Train Control (PTC) which enhances safety throughout Metro North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road, and for continuing real time bus information.
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Did You Know?The MTA's fiber optic cable network can stretch from New York to Missouri.
Bus Customer Information System
Communicating with Our Customers
Imagine being able to time your arrival at a bus stop to coincide with the arrival of the bus? The MTA's new Bus Customer Information System (Bus CIS) will provide customers with real-time information as to the actual location of a bus along a route with accuracy to within one stop. Information will be updated at frequent intervals and will include route, travel direction, destination, and even bus numbers. The information will be transmitted to customers via the MTA website, SMS messaging, and third party services such as storefront displays, and additional websites. External developers are also working on new dedicated mobile applications that will support Bus CIS.
A pilot version of the system is currently in use on the B63 route in Brooklyn, and can be accessed online at http://bustime.mta.info. Once fully deployed, Bus CIS information will be available for all regular NYC Transit bus and MTA Bus routes.
How Does it Work?
Bus CIS obtains current location data from an enhanced GPS device. Vehicle specific information is be transmitted wirelessly to a Bus CIS server using on-board equipment in much the same way new contactless bankcards work. The server uses an inference engine to integrate these data with schedules, dispatch, and map information to provide real-time next bus information to customers. User interfaces, include desktops, mobile phone apps, and text (SMS) messages.
Already Planning for the Next Generation
Bus CIS includes a developer's API, to permit third parties to create innovative applications that can access the data and present it to customers. The project features a low lifecycle cost and hardware and software that are easily maintainable. It is designed for non-proprietary elements like open standard interfaces and open source software, wherever feasible, and optimizes the use of commercial off-the-shelf components to reduce development time, risk, and cost.
Once the pilot is complete, the Bus CIS hardware subsystem will be installed on Staten Island buses then rolled out to all buses operated by the MTA and its agencies, with the exception of Paratransit.
- Onboard Bus Hardware Subsystem
- Installations begin: 10/2011
- Installations Complete: 12/2011
- Bus CIS Server subsystem
- Development begin: 8/2011
- Live field testing begins: 10/2011
- Development complete for Staten Island: 12/2011
- Public Use for Staten Island: January 1, 2012