General Question

talljasperman's avatar

Why don't busses have GPS for every bus stop?

Asked by talljasperman (21858points) June 10th, 2013

Instead of worrying if one has to wait anything from one minute to one hour wouldn’t it be easier If transit station’s and transit stops had a digital display telling how much one has to wait… if it is an hour you could walk or go to a restaurant. If it is half an hour then one could go for fast food. Finally if it is a minute then one can wait at the stop.

They tried a paper guide in Edmonton, but I find them difficult to believe seeing that more passengers getting on and off, causing time plus or minus a few minutes effectually throwing off the schedules.

Maybe their is an app for that but I don’t have a smart phone.

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12 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Too costly and not worth the time to impliment it.

glacial's avatar

What @XOIIO said… plus the maintenance costs. I can just imagine it would work brilliantly for the first 3 months, then one by one they start flickering out, never to function again.

Judi's avatar

I think that’s brilliant if they could make it cheap and vandal proof.

hearkat's avatar

We tried to get info from the app while we were visiting New Orleans a few months ago, but it left much to be desired.

dabbler's avatar

In NYC, some (not all) of the bus lines do have a sort of countdown clock to the next arrival.
They are red-LED/text displays, so fairly low maintenance.

jaytkay's avatar

We have excellent transit tracking in Chicago, by three methods.

A few bus stops and many train platforms have a digital display.

There are tracking web sites for buses and trains, showing all the buses and all the trains.

And every bus stop sign has a phone number and unique code – you send a text message with the code and it texts back wait times.

Pachy's avatar

GPS on buses? With municipal budgets as tight as they are these days, we’re lucky they still have seats!

ragingloli's avatar

They have GPS on the buses, but those are for the driver only, to let them know how close they are to their schedule, and probably to monitor performance.

ETpro's avatar

@jaytkay Yeah, so obviously it can’t be done. America doesn’t do big things. Other countries like China do big things. Not us.

Boston’s MBTA has next train info in the stations. The MBTA website has an apps section where you can grab the MobileMBTA app. It gives you route info and arrival times for each line and stop. The MBTA has also linked bus location in real time to Google Maps. But these things can only be done on political climates where people look forward. In areas determined to move backward, they can’t be done, wouldn’t work anyway, and would cost far too much.

whitenoise's avatar

Many bus stops in The Netherlands have such a display. Many buses show time to next stop inside the bus as well.

Your wish is granted, but just in another place than you are. :-)

Lightlyseared's avatar

We’ve had this at bus stops in London for a few years now. There’s even an iPhone app with the info as well.

65Stang's avatar

for Hampton Roads Transit in Virginia, someone created a web app for our buses that works with the gps on the bus to tell you what bus is running on your route, where the bus is and if its running late, on time, or early.

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