New Features Include Time-Based Arrival Estimates, Street Grid Views of Bus Locations

MTA Bus Time™ is now a free, downloadable app. MTA The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has significantly upgraded , its live bus tracking service, by making it available as a free downloadable app for iOS and Android smartphone users. Additionally starting June 6, new time-based bus arrival information will be available for Bronx bus routes and will be available for bus routes in the other boroughs in the near future as the MTA moves forward with new ways to provide customers with real-time arrival information.

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The MTA Bus Time™ app offers a user-friendly interface for iPhones and Android-based mobile devices. MTA Bus Time™ users previously accessed the service on a desktop or smartphone by logging in to the mobile website or via text message and QR code based access. Customers who prefer to access MTA Bus Time™ through the mobile website may continue to do so, while the app offers a downloadable option that saves time and effort.

The app includes a new feature that gives customers a time-based arrival estimate of a bus at any given stop. MTA Bus Time™ users currently track buses based on distance between a queried bus and the customer’s current location, either through the number of stops or the distance in miles. The new time-based estimates take into consideration multiple factors that can affect the arrival time of a bus, such as its schedule, historical travel times over the same distance in the month prior, and current traffic conditions. If those conditions change, MTA Bus Time™ automatically updates the prediction.

The new app also includes two frequently requested features: a map-based street grid view that shows buses moving in real time and automatically shows nearby bus routes as well. Another new function remembers customers’ most frequent or favorite trips and learns their regular trips and shows nearby routes customers have previously used.

“Technology is changing quickly and the MTA understands that New York is a very tech-savvy and fast-paced city, so it is important for us to have a smartphone app that addresses what our bus customers requested to help them use our system better,” said MTA New York City Transit President Carmen Bianco. “We want our customers to get to where they need to go faster, and this app helps them cut down on that commuting time by putting arrival times in their hands.”

“We have been listening to our customers and our bus technology team has been working diligently on these exciting new features that they have been asking for to improve MTA Bus Time™,” said Darryl Irick, Senior Vice President of Buses, President MTA Bus Company. “These features have been developed and tested in-house and this enhanced real-time information will also be available to third-party developers.”

The MTA Bus Time™ service uses location data provided by an enhanced global positioning device mounted inside each bus. That information is transmitted wirelessly to a MTA Bus Time™ server using onboard cellular equipment. The server integrates bus location data with bus route info, schedules and map files to output the information received by bus customers.

In addition to the app, MTA Bus Time™ is available on any web-enabled smartphone or desktop computer at; on a cell phone through text messaging 511123 with a bus route code or intersection information; or on a smartphone with a QR code reader by scanning the bus stop’s QR code. The new time-based estimate feature has been integrated into these various iterations of MTA Bus Time™ on the desktop website, mobile website and text messaging service.