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Sign of the times as 500 new high-tech screens keep track of our buses

Up to 500 bus stops in Dublin will be fitted with screens telling passengers when the next bus is coming, by the end of the year.

Dublin City Council plans to roll out the new up-to-date information signs at the busiest bus stops in the capital.

And Dublin Bus is currently testing a vehicle-tracking system which will match up to the screens by the end of the year.

The council hasn't ruled out a further phase roll-out after the first 500 stops are completed, and all bus companies with compatible on-board bus systems will be able to use system.

Dublin Bus is progressing to fit its entire fleet with the €10m vehicle-tracking system which will allow controllers to see where buses are located and if they are being delayed by congestion.

Route 123, which is a cross-city route, is currently testing the Automatic Vehicle Location and Control (AVLC) system since last October, and it has been installed in 110 buses operating from the Summerhill depot.

A spokeswoman for Dublin Bus said: "Once Route 123 is fully ready, we'll move onto each depot in the city."

The real-time information for Route 123 will be available by text or on the Dublin Bus website by the end of the summer.

Controlled

She added: "It'll all be on stream for 2010. The background system is progressing very well.

"The information will be real with exactly what's out there. We'll know where all the buses are."

Previously, Dublin Bus services had been controlled from various depots, but under the new system there will be a central control at the Broadstone depot.

"We'll have better control and we'll know where buses are all the time.

"If passengers are waiting we'll be able to tell them where the buses are."

"The initial installation stage of the AVLC system is now complete and the on-bus equipment has been installed on approximately half of the fleet," a spokesman said.

The information is also to be fed to the city council's traffic-control system to allow for greater bus priority at junctions.

There are around 5,000 bus stops in Dublin Bus's entire network fleet, but the 500 stops chosen for the scheme will be chosen from the highest designated loading points.

The new vehicle tracking service for Dublin Bus is being funded by the Department of Transport through Transport 21, and it is being developed by the German company Init.

hnews@herald.ie


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