MTA Press Releases

Press Release
March 26, 2012
MTA New York City Transit Brings Bus Time to the M34/M34A SBS Crosstown

MTA New York City Transit announced today that, effective April 8, 2012; MTA Bus Time will be phased into the M34/M34A Select Bus Service crosstown bus route. It replaces the system installed in October 2010, as part of a pilot program. All the benefits of using your computer, cell phone, or smartphone to find out when the next bus will arrive remain the same, but the website address will change to and the new text code is 511123.

MTA Bus Time is already in place borough-wide in Staten Island and was originally introduced along the B63 in Brooklyn in February 2011. 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. Bus Time is slated for city-wide implementation by the end of 2013.

"We're bringing Bus Time to 34th Street to replace the original pilot developed by technology firm Clever Devices," said Darryl Irick, President of MTA Bus and Senior Vice President NYC Transit's Department of Buses. "However, unlike the previous pilot, the new system was developed in-house by the MTA at a fraction of the cost and allows us to expand Bus Time to more routes more quickly."

MTA Bus Time utilizes non-proprietary open standards and software for development and deployment allowing for increased flexibility and a cost reduction approaching 70 percent, compared to the vendor pilot.

MTA Bus Time takes the guesswork out of waiting for the next bus through the use of enhanced global positioning system (GPS) devices installed on buses. The GPS triangulates bus locations in real time. Accessible through cell phones and other electronic devices, all bus customers have to do is text 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.

Electronically-savvy customers can also use their smartphones to snap a picture of a two-dimensional barcode installed at every stop. A barcode-reading app, available free of charge, can then interpret this information, and take you directly to our mobile website.

On Staten Island, Bus Time is currently serving 7,700 SMS text message inquiries, 3,800 requests from desktop users, and 500 requests from mobile web users, for a total average of 12,000 requests per day. This figure does not include additional data requests made by users of third party apps that use Bus Time data.

M34 and M34A SBS customers should note that with the transition to Bus Time, the countdown clocks previously installed at the bus shelters will no longer be in use.

The 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 bus in service. The same information will be available through smartphones, on a simplified website designed specifically for mobile phone browsers.