Coming To Manhattan: Finding Your Bus By Phone

Friday, October 04, 2013 - 10:32 AM

Bus Time sign in a Manhattan subway station (Kate Hinds/WNYC)

By the end of this month, riders in Manhattan will be able to use their phone to track buses approaching their stop. So say signs that have begun to appear in the subway.

"Hey Manhattan!," the signs say. And in Spanish: "¡Oye Manhattan!" Readers are advised to consult a link to learn more. There they will learn that Bus Time, which has been operating in the Bronx and Staten Island, will come to Manhattan by the end of the month. 

With Bus Time, a rider can send a text message, and get a reply saying how many miles or stops the bus is away.  The text doesn't tell the time, but it's still better than relying on a bus's schedule, which is frequently disrupted by traffic, detours and other delays.

It allows riders to stay inside during inclement weather, or to choose between the bus and other modes.

Bus Time uses a GPS system and wireless technology to track a borough's bus fleet. The MTA says Bus Time will be available in all five boroughs by the spring of 2014. Once it's all up and running, the program will track 6,000 buses on 250 routes serving 12,000 stops.


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