Friday, January 30, 2009

Roosevelt Island Red Bus GPS Tracking System In Operation and Working!

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!

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!
Here's more on the GPS Tracking system from earlier post.

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.

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.
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?

Image of London GPS Bus Tracking Signage from Second Avenue Sagas

17 comments :

Anonymous said...

Usually great - except when you have to get the bus at 6:15am and there's no data coming back from the website.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. We now have to log in this website (which is a pain to use) to see when the next bus arrives at our stop?

I need to ask this again. How is this any better than posting a time table on those 16 or so bus stops? To be honest I am really trying hard to understand this.

Anonymous said...

Not everybody carries electronic gadgets.
How about eliminating the frequent examples of busess bunching at the tram ?
Having one bus waiting should be enough. The earlier arrivals should be "released"
AND
The Octagon Express could make stops en route when people are waiting at the regular stops and it is not full.The way RIOC runs the RedBus is the same way the MTA runs the "F" line."Full is good"

Anonymous said...

An express is an express. Stopping the Red Bus Express is a ridiculous idea. The releasing of a bus from the tram however is exactly what they should be doing.

Anonymous said...

I agree. An express bus is an express bus. The Octagon Mgmt is paying for this service so be it. It only removes one bus from general use (and it's one of those old and rusted through-and-though buses) anyway.

Why, oh why, is there no published timetable for the red bus? Even the link on NextBus's website says that there is no schedule. That is bizarre. At one time two drivers at the tram stop argued about who was supposed to leave next while we passengers (after waiting a long time for a bus to show up in the first place) were caught in the middle.

Anonymous said...

another separate problem is that sometimes buses seem to just skip stops. this has happened to me both in the mornings at rush hour when not full local buses have driven right passed the manhattan park stop, and also, just this past weekend, a red bus that was supposed to stop at the motorgate to head towards the tram didn't stop.

Anonymous said...

Need to know in real time which service truck is closest to a customer's location? Google Latitude lets you track friends, employees

http://www.google.com/reader/view/feed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ffeeds2.feedburner.com%2Fgoogle%2FzQek?source=email

Jackline said...
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bespy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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