Waiting for the Bus image from Amy Kim Ganter
Perhaps the days of Roosevelt Islanders waiting on the street corner in the freezing cold, rain or snow not knowing when the next bus to arrive are over.
I received the following message from Elle Erickson of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Communications Committee:
I am hoping this will come up at the RIRA meeting, but I could not wait until then to pass it on – people NEED to know!Here's more on the GPS Tracking system from earlier post.
The Octagon apparently sponsored installation of GPS tracking systems on all the red busses. By accessing www.nextbus.com, people can find out when the next bus is scheduled to arrive at whatever stops they are traveling from. I tested it, waiting for the bus and it actually works! We have identified one glitch, which is that while waiting at the subway for a north bound bus, it will always say the next bus is one minute away because it is sitting at the tram.
Spread the word please- this thing is great!
UPDATE - 2/1 - RIOC Director Jon Kalkin provides some more information on the Roosevelt Island GPS Red Bus Tracking System:
Glad to see that the GPS is getting great support! I am fighting very hard to get this for the whole island. I have seen some people concerned with the fact that you have to check a computer or mobile phone to see when the next bus is coming. My goal is to get LCD screens indicating when the next bus is coming on each of the bus stops. This will not only be convenient for riders, but will help RIOC prevent bunching and keep a more timely schedule. I have forwarded the NEXTBUS map and information to Dr. Lapp and the Columbia University transportation team I got to study these problems. This is a big step in making island travel easier and more reliable.At the same time that Roosevelt Island is experimenting with a GPS Bus Tracking system, the MTA is canceling a more extensive, multi-million dollar initiative for New York City buses. According to NY 1 (accompanying video of report) via Second Avenue Sagas:
... It's just incredible that in this day and age, we're nowhere closer to being able to know where the buses are at any given point," said Queens Councilman John Liu.Perhaps Roosevelt Island can either use the display signs that the MTA is removing from their system or somehow get the benefit of the MTA's contract which is being canceled. If the MTA's options are either losing all the money they paid for the system that they are not using or giving it to Roosevelt Island at a nominal fee might they choose the latter, though I do not know if the MTA's system would work on RI?
Under a contract awarded in 2005, tracking equipment was installed onboard 185 Manhattan buses. In August of 2007, screens began operating in test mode, but were turned off a few months later because the times were inaccurate. They've been dark ever since.
... The MTA is now in the process of literally pulling the plug on this project. It hopes to disconnect and remove the electronic message boards at the 15 stations in Manhattan where they had been installed, beginning next month.
Image of London GPS Bus Tracking Signage from Second Avenue Sagas