Good news for Metro bus riders: earlier this month Metro took the first step in bringing real time arrival information to bus riders when the agency invited vendors to submit proposals for a Real Time Bus Arrival Information System (BAIS).
Metro is looking for a vendor who can provide an internet-based BAIS that will provide Metro passengers with bus arrival information and Metro staff with fleet management tools. The system must be able to work with fixed bus routes but be versatile enough to accommodate for situations when buses deviate from their routes. To ensure the utmost accuracy, arrival predictions must be based on the actual location of vehicles and not schedule deviations. And bus arrival information must be easily accessible and be able to be delivered to any location – web sites, transit stops, mobile devices, etc.
A real time bus arrival system has the potential to revolutionize riding the bus in L.A. We all know how unpredictable L.A. traffic can be. Combine that with the many variables buses face along their routes and it’s clear to see why a bus might not be right on schedule. But with real time bus arrival information, riders will be able to better plan their travels and hopefully avoid long waits at the bus stop wondering “Where’s my bus?”.
Vendors have until April 29th to submit their proposals. Time to implement the system after a contract is awarded is one of the evaluation criteria, so there’s no way to know right now when bus riders will actually have real time info. But it’s coming.