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Signal Pre-emption and real time passenger info.

MEDIA RELEASE

4 September 2003

Signal Pre-emption and real time passenger information: system ready to go live

The real time bus arrival information project for the Link buses is now expected to “go live” towards the end of this month.

“The project does more than advise passengers when the next bus will be arriving,” says Councillor Greg McKeown, Transport Committee chairperson. “With global positioning technology, the buses can ‘talk’ to the traffic signals, reducing delays and improving the reliability of bus services.”

The use of GPS will position each Link bus on the route. Bus passengers will receive both text and voice information about the next stop and nearby destinations. The information is updated as the bus moves around the route. Each bus will also be communicating its position to the council’s traffic signals office. Using that information, the 50 electronic signs will display up-to-date information on expected arrival times, and traffic signals will be managed to help the buses travel through the intersections with fewer delays.

The electronic bus stop signs were installed on the route late last year to enable system testing. The project experienced delays due to initial accuracy problems.

With training of the Stagecoach drivers now underway, the system is soon expected to be operating to the level of accuracy required by the contract specification to Auckland City’s contractors, Saab ITS. The signal pre-emption part of the system is also now up and running with formal acceptance testing also happening this month.

“The project is another step taken by Auckland City, in partnership with the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and Stagecoach, towards a more attractive bus system for Aucklanders and visitors to the city,” says Mr McKeown.

The same system that will assist the everyday convenience of using the Link will give blind and vision impaired people an improved level of independence within Auckland city and will assist visitors get around central Auckland.

The Link system will be monitored closely over the next three months before a decision is taken to rollout over Auckland city. Over the next two years, this project will lead to equipping all of the region’s buses for signal pre-emption and the installation of over 200 electronic signs at bus stops within the city.

This smart-technology project has an overall cost of $6.9 million. Auckland City will invest $600,000 over the next 3 years, with $3.1 million from Infrastructure Auckland and $3.2 million from Transfund New Zealand.

Ends

Ref: KF

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