Mayor Rattenbury has word on trials commencing for realtime bus timetabling nirvana.
A trial of the NXTBUS real time passenger information system will commence in coming weeks, and new signage is being installed at Canberra’s 3100 bus stops in preparation for the December 2013 commencement of NXTBUS, announced Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury.
NXTBUS will track ACTION buses and provide live information about arrival times via digital displays installed at bus stations and on buses. It will also provide live information online via the ACTION website on computers, smartphones and tablets as well as over the phone via Canberra Connect.
“The real time information system – NXTBUS – is an exciting development for public transport. It will make catching an ACTION bus more convenient and change the way people travel in Canberra,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“In the coming weeks, up to 30 NXTBUS fitted ACTION buses will operate on the Red and Blue Rapid routes (200 and 300 series) to start testing the equipment. This will allow drivers and other ACTION staff to iron out any operational issues.
“Bus passengers travelling on these routes will notice that bus stops will be announced and they will be able to track the progress of their bus along the route from the display screen installed at the front of the bus.
“Work is continuing on the installation of display boards at bus stations and major bus stops across Canberra.
When the system is operational in December these displays will show the route, destination, departure time,platform number and if the bus is equipped with a bike rack or is wheelchair accessible. Work on a display board at City Bus Station is nearing completion and will be used during the testing process.
“The Government has also commenced the installation of updated signage at the ACT’s 3,100 bus stops to ensure they are ready in time for the live roll out of NXTBUS. The signs will provide bus users with the details of how they can access service information once the real-time system is fully operational. In the interim, anyone who calls or sends an SMS to the number on the sign will get timetable information, rather than ‘live’ bus time information.
“With the installation of the updated signage, a trial of Braille/embossed bus stop signs will be undertaken. The new signs will be placed at around waist height on 100 selected bus stops and, if successful, could be expanded to include all stops.
During the testing stage, the public can expect to see some on-screen messages as to the system’s status as further testing continues to help iron out any issues in the lead up to the system going live in December.
“NXTBUS promises to help grow Canberra’s public transport future, as ACTION buses improve and Capital metro light rail comes on-line,” Mr Rattenbury said.