From: News and Views | City Beat |
Monday, October 05, 1998

Kiosks to Give Bus Info

High-tech data on routes, schedules

By JAMES RUTENBERG - Daily News Staff Writer

Bus riders soon may be able to use computers at high-tech bus kiosks to find out everything they need to know about their trips.

The Transit Authority is working on a system that will allow riders to punch their bus routes into a curbside computer to get schedule information and the locations of the next two buses due to arrive at that stop.

Riders could also use the "smart kiosks" to find the major attractions or restaurants along the route, said Andrew Bata, the TA's senior director of service planning.

He said officials haven't decided what additional information they will be able to make available. Bata unveiled the kiosk idea at a traffic management summit last month. The kiosks would be part of a TA system using satellites to locate buses on city streets, then post arrival times on electronic message boards.

Under the system — similar to those used to help ships navigate — a bus transponder communicates with a satellite, which relays the bus' position to a mainframe computer. The computer then estimates when the bus will reach specific stops — and relays that information to message boards along the route.

The kiosks would show the location of the next two buses. They would also let a rider call up any other bus map, which could be marked with tourist information and subway stops.

The program is still in development and is running into problems, because Manhattan's tall buildings can interfere with satellite signals. But planners are developing a "dead reckoning" system to estimate a bus' location when the signal is lost.

Officials are hopeful the system will hit the streets by next year. The TA also wants to use electronic message boards to tell subway riders when trains will arrive. New subway cars due to hit early next year will feature electronic "strip maps" that mark where a train is along its route.

Newsbit furnished by:

A: NetShift Software Ltd.
A: Hughenden Yard, Marlborough, Wilts,SN8 1LT, UK
T: +44 (0)1672 511 094
F: +44 (0)1672 511 078
E: [email protected]

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