Commuters along the busy Route 5 corridor can stay updated in real time on bus arrivals and avoid congestion with new amenities being added to Capital District Transportation Authority’s BusPlus service.
With the use of GPS tracking that determines bus location and speed, customers will now have the ability to access more precise arrival information, as well as free Internet services while riding, CDTA said in a news release Tuesday. Receiving real-time information was the No. 1 amenity requested by customers in CDTA surveys, and more than half of BusPlus customers have mobile Internet-capable devices.
The BusTime Passenger Information System includes arrival predictions for the next two or three buses and live bus tracking that shows their location and route progress using Google Maps. If a bus is tied up due to an accident or rush hour traffic, those waiting won’t have to guess when it might arrive.
Anyone with an Internet-enabled device, such as a smartphone, traditional cellphone or computer, can access the tracking information through digital signage at specific stations. In addition, electronic arrival signs are installed at eight different stops: eastbound and westbound stations at West Mall, Manning, Village Center and Division. More will be installed next year at the remaining 15 BusPlus stations along Route 5, CDTA said.
Customers can sign up for alerts at bustime.cdta.org. They can also text “cdtabus” followed by the 5-digit number on the nearest bus stop sign to 41411 to receive information. While riding on a BusPlus line, customers can open a web browser and accept terms and conditions.
CDTA will add 22 more real-time arrival signs, new shelters, security cameras and 911 blue-light phones along its route next year, with $5.5 million in federal funds it received last month. Other high-volume routes might also see real-time information applications if they prove successful on Route 5.
CDTA Chairwoman Denise Figueroa said the authority is embracing modern technology to improve service reliability and communications, as well as attract new riders.
Changes to speed up CDTA service were first introduced in the region in 2003, with the installation of queue jumpers and traffic signal priority systems. Studies show fast bus service leads to increased ridership and economic development.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: