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Real Time Information At Bus Stops - Pilot

Real Time Information At Bus Stops - Pilot This Week

Christchurch City’s public transport system is set for further enhancement with the piloting of a Real Time Bus Information system at selected bus stops, which started this week.

The Real Time Bus Information system provides waiting passengers with up to the minute (real time) information indicating in how many minutes their bus will arrive.

Phase One of the project saw the installation of screens in the new bus exchange and at Colombo St bus stops, similar to those used in airport terminals to show arrival times. The bus exchange screens show a list of buses, and indicate the number of minutes remaining until each bus arrives.

The pilot of Phase Two will involve the installation of a small interactive screen at ten selected bus stops around the city. Passengers at the bus stops will be able to press a bus route button to see how many minutes away their bus is. Alternatively they will be able to press a destination button to determine which bus goes to that destination and how many minutes away it is. During the pilot phase, Opinions Market Research will interview a sample of passengers for their feedback on the new screens.

The two-week pilot phase will be followed by the rollout of 200 further screens to bus stops around Christchurch. It is hoped that the rollout will follow immediately after the pilot, however there could be some delay if any significant improvements are identified by passengers through the Opinions research.

The Real Time Bus Information system is a joint venture between Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury (ECan).

Bill Sissons, the City Council’s coordinator of Traffic Systems and Information, says that new facilities at bus stops will further improve Christchurch’s public transport system.

“Passengers can be more confident of catching their bus when they know for sure that it is coming. For example if their bus has been delayed in traffic by 3 minutes, the Real Time Bus Information system would show this”, says Sissons.

Wayne Holton-Jeffreys, ECan Passenger Services Manager, adds that the new scheme is in line with calls for improved information about the bus system.

"We've had a lot of feedback from bus users over recent years calling for more information to be available at bus stops. We're pleased to see investment going into making the system more user-friendly and accessible", says Holton-Jeffreys.

The Real Time Bus Information system has been developed by Christchurch company Connexionz. It operates by a GPS (Global Positioning System) device in each bus sending the bus’s location back to the central computer via radio telephone every 5-30 seconds. Special Connexionz software then uses this information, in combination with historic data on previous similar trips, to determine how long the bus will take to arrive. Finally this information is relayed to the bus stop’s device and appears on the screen.

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