Bus-stop displays to tell passengers of waiting times
PASSENGERS will know exactly how long they will have to wait for their next bus when electronic signs are erected at stops by the end of this month.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) yesterday revealed real-time information signs will be put in place at bus stops across the capital, which will inform passengers when their next bus is due.
Already in place on the Luas light-rail system and DART, the system will also enable commuters to get up-to-the-minute bus times from a website or by text.
At least 450 signs will be in place by March.
The system will also be rolled out to Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford next year and into 2012.
NTA chief executive Gerry Murphy told the Dail Transport Committee the service would include the latest technology so bus arrival times and service updates could be transmitted to passengers at the flick of a switch.
"We will launch a pilot this month at a number of locations in Dublin in order to test the accuracy of the systems that have been developed," he said.
"In the initial phase, which will be completed by March 2011, 450 display signs will be installed in the greater Dublin area, serving key stops. The signs will incorporate the latest technology to ensure easy readability and will comply with disability guidelines for electronic signage.
"As well as providing bus arrival times, they can display service updates and messages from the bus control centre."
"We are also examining options to assist blind or partially sighted people to use the bus network more easily using a combination of telephone and text services together with Braille identification of individual bus stops," Mr Murphy added.
Each vehicle in the Dublin Bus fleet will be equipped with an on-board computer system to track its location, and whether they are being delayed. This data will then be transmitted to a central controller. The information will then be displayed on the electronic signs.
Costs for the implementation of the programme in Dublin are expected to amount to between €2m-€4m. Dublin City Council will be responsible for erecting the signs.
Meanwhile, work has also started on the system in Cork, which should be complete by next summer.
In a separate development, the NTA said a new website would be launched shortly that would allow people to plan a journey using all transport companies across the State.
At present, travelling information must be gathered from an "unacceptably high" number of different sources.
Mr Murphy said that the website would allow people to plan trips using an online journey planner which would suggest various forms of transport.