Initial feedback from users of ACTION’s NXTBUS real time system is proving valuable in assisting with the roll out across the ACTION fleet, said Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury.
About 50 participants across a range of key stakeholders including Pedal Power and Guide Dogs Australia are participating in the testing.
“The testing is designed to provide valuable feedback on the usability of the system and to identify possible improvements,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“For example, while riding buses, participants have been asked to monitor the displays on the buses and the on-board announcement of the next stops to identify any issues with audibility or provision of unclear or inaccurate information.
“Participants are also testing the SMS service and passenger information displays at major stops, with testing of the web interface scheduled for early next year.
“This testing process is similar to that used for the successful implementation of the MyWay ticketing system in 2010. I thank all participants for so enthusiastically agreeing to take part in testing this exciting new initiative for public transport in Canberra.”
Mr Rattenbury said that work was progressing steadily on fitting out buses with the NXTBUS equipment, with a quarter of the bus fleet already installed.
“The progressive roll-out approach is similar to what other projects, such as iBus in London, have undertaken and ensures normal services continue to be delivered with minimal disruption.
“The first two display screens were installed at the City bus station in October with an additional 15 to beinstalled at all bus stations and selected major stops early in the new year. Updated signage has also been installed at the 3100 bus stops located across Canberra.”
“In addition, 100 Braille and embossed bus stop number plates have been installed at selected bus stops for vision impaired commuters. These locations were determined with the help of the Guide Dogs Association.”
NXTBUS will track ACTION buses and provide live information about arrival times via digital displays at bus stations and major stops, online, via SMS and by telephone. NXTBUS also shows when a bus is easy access and if it has a bike rack.