MTA Bus Time Hits Brooklyn
Bus Time -; the MTA's real-time bus information pilot -; has arrived along the B63 bus route in Brooklyn. The program is the latest initiative to alert riders to the status of their commute in real time, with actual bus locations available on the web, by text message and on your Smartphone.
If this pilot is successful, MTA Bus Time will be expanded across the city, starting in Staten Island where every bus is set to receive the new technology this year.
MTA Bus Time will take the guesswork out of waiting for the next bus through enhanced global positioning system devices, installed on 30 buses along the B63 route, that triangulate bus locations in real time. Accessible through cell phones and other electronic devices, all bus customers have to do is text us a code that will be prominently displayed at their bus stop. They will immediately receive a return text with the real-time locations of the next several buses.
The MTA is also working with area merchants along the route, who will soon be installing LCD signs that will display bus locations in real-time. So, bus customers can sip on their morning coffee or pick up a newspaper while knowing when their next bus is going to arrive.
Electronically-savvy customers can also use their Smartphones to snap a picture of a two-dimensional barcode we've installed at every B63 stop. A barcode-reading app can then interpret this information, and take you directly to our mobile website.
Our MTA Bus Time website is accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. The site presents map-based moving images representing the real-time location of every B63 bus in service. The same information will be available through Smartphones, on a simplified website we've designed specifically for mobile phone browsers.
Unlike the Manhattan cross-town pilots on the M16 and M34 routes, the B63 system was developed in-house allowing for increased flexibility and a cost reduction approaching 70 percent, compared to the vendor pilots. This means MTA Bus Time can be expanded to more bus routes more quickly.
MTA Bus Time is the most recent MTA customer communications innovation which provides riders with the information they need. Currently, customers at more than 140 subway stations are now benefitting from next train arrival information. That number is scheduled to swell to 200 stations by the end of the year. Subway customers can also sign up for email and text alerts letting them know about service interruptions both planned and unplanned.
We have also introduced electronic signs alerting customers to the status of subway service before they pay their fares, giving them the opportunity to utilize an alternate route. Know before you go. Now, that's the way to travel.
For complete information on MTA Bus Time, customers can pick up the smart-looking green and white brochure, or visit www.MTA.info.