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New To Brooklyn: Knowing Bus Time in Real Time

By dkene
In Development
Apr 9th, 2014
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For those of you willing to use your phone to track your bus time in real time, finally, there is an app for that. According to news from MTA, “Brooklyn and Queens bus riders have another reason to covet their electronic devices. Customers can get the locations of Brooklyn and Queens’ buses in real time via smart phone, web and text message.”

It’s called MTA Bus Time, and it has expanded to cover all Brooklyn and Queens’ bus routes, given straphangers capability to ‘Know Before You Go’ in the words of MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast.

“[This] is yet another way we are trying to improve service for our customers,” said Carmen Bianco, President of MTA New York City Transit. Now, 15,000 bus stops across the city can be monitored thanks to the work done by crews that installed enhanced GPS hardware at them and inside 5,500 buses operating in all boroughs.

The two year old initiative began on Staten Island in 2012, and later expanded to the Bronx and Manhattan by October 2013. The real time tracking applies to all the following buses running in Brooklyn:

 B1, B100, B103, B11, B12, B13, B14, B15, B16, B17, B2, B20, B24, B25, B26, B3, B31, B32, B35, B36, B38, B39, B4, B41, B42, B43, B44, B44-SBS, B45, B46, B47, B48, B49, B52, B54, B57, B6, B60, B62, B64, B65, B67, B68, B69, B7, B70, B74, B8, B82, B83, B84, and B9.

Officials say this service is easy is to use in three ways.

Firstly, “from any web-enabled smart phone or desktop computer, just go to bustime.mta.info and enter a bus route, intersection, street address, landmark, or bus stop code. You’ll get a map showing where buses are located within the specific route or region you’ve searched.

Secondly, you can “text an intersection or street address to 511123 from any cell phone to receive a message listing local bus routes” and thirdly, “you can scan the QR Code printed on the Guide-A-Ride schedules posted at bus stops, if you have a smart phone with a QR Code reader”, according to the MTA.

How it works

According to officials, MTA Bus Time uses location data provided by an enhanced global positioning device mounted inside each bus. That information is transmitted wirelessly to a MTA Bus Time server using onboard cellular equipment. The server integrates bus location data with bus route info, schedules and map files to output the information received by bus customers.  MTA Bus Time is made possible by a number of contractors, including Cubic Transportation Systems, Cambridge Systematics, Verifone, Open Plans Transportation, and Mobile Commons. For more information, go to http://bustime.mta.info/.

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