Monday, February 24, 2014
By Kate Hinds
New York City's two most populous boroughs will get Bus Time on March 9th, completing the installation of the MTA's live bus tracking system citywide.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Real-time bus information is coming to spreading around the NYC transit system. The New York City version of live updates on bus location known as Bus Time will expand to Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. But those three boroughs won't be fully wired until April 2014 -- four months later than expected. The MTA says Manhattan will have the service by year's end, the other boroughs will come later.
Bus Time currently operates only in the Bronx and Staten Island. The MTA says the delay in rolling out the service to other areas is because of Sandy-related delays. Right now, riders in Staten Island and the Bronx can use their cell phones or computers to text or look up exactly when the next bus will arrive at their stop, or as the MTA puts it, "Bus Time takes the wondering and uncertainty out of waiting for the bus. "
Bus Time, customers can send a text message to 511123 to find out where the nearest bus is ... if that bus is GPS tracked in the system. While other cities have real-time location data for their fleets, Manhattan's cavernous avenues have proved a challenge in designing a reliable GPS-based system. The NYC MTA operates the largest bus fleet in North America with 5,700 buses and about 300 routes.
For more info on Bus Time and to see which routes are tracked in real time, go to the Bus Time website.
Friday, June 29, 2012
By Jim O'Grady
(New York, NY - WNYC) Service on the sole bus route serving Red Hook, Brooklyn, may be erratic and over-crowded during peak hours, but riders can now use a smartphone to figure out where their bus is dawdling on the neighborhood's waterfront grid.
Or maybe it's approaching. To find out, riders can fire up the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Bus Time technology.
Red Hook is subway-less, surrounded by New York harbor on three sides and cut off from the rest of Brooklyn by the Gowanus Expressway as it approaches the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.
The program fits out buses with GPS units. That allows riders to check the Web or send a text to find the location of the nearest bus.
It's already in place borough-wide in Staten Island, on the M34 Select Bus Service in Manhattan, and was originally piloted on the B63 in Brooklyn in early 2011.The MTA says every line in the city will have it by the end of next year.
Red Hook residents have long complained of living in a transit semi-desert. It got worse last year, when the MTA cut costs by eliminating three bus lines serving Red Hook and nearby neighborhoods. Some residents adapted by making the long walk to the subway stop at Smith and 9th Streets in Carroll Gardens. But with that stop now undergoing a year-long renovation, many Red Hook commuters have had no choice but to use the problem-plagued B61.
City Councilman Brad Lander and Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, both vocal about beefing up Red Hook's bus service, say they're pleased by Bus Time's arrival. “Bus Time will help Red Hook residents with their commute by providing real time information on buses’ locations,” Velázquez said.
Lander similarly praised it, then reminded the authority that further improvements are needed on the line. "I look forward to taking further steps to making the line a great bus for the neighborhoods it serves.”
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
By Kate Hinds
Following on the heels of Staten Island, the Bronx will become the second of New York's five boroughs to get real-time bus information.
New York's MTA is currently installing GPS units on the 1,025 buses that serve the borough. The agency said the service will go live sometime this year.
In a press release, MTA head Joe Lhota heralded Bus Time as a time saver (and caffeine-enabler). "Knowing how far away your next bus is means you can spend more time with your family or more time at a coffee shop instead of waiting at a bus stop in a state of uncertainty," he said. "About 90% of our customers carry text-message enabled cell phones, so this is a big step forward to help make the lives of our customers a lot easier."
This technology debuted on Brooklyn's B63 last year and went live on all buses in Staten Island earlier this month.
The MTA's press release enigmatically states: "the next borough will also come online in 2012," leaving two more boroughs -- which the MTA says will get Bus Time by 2013.
Want to read more about Bus Time? TN's field test of Staten Island's system is here.