After signs went up in subway stations last week, the MTA made it official this morning: real-time bus tracking is now available for all Manhattan buses, joining Staten Island and the Bronx, with Queens and Brooklyn to come online within six months.
Bus Time for Manhattan buses appeared shortly after midnight last night, adding 36 routes and 1,800 bus stops to the program. Bronx and Staten Island buses that have portions of their routes in Manhattan are already equipped with the tracking technology, which was developed in part by OpenPlans, Streetsblog’s parent organization.
As of today, the MTA says there are 2,852 buses in its fleet with the GPS devices, serving 6,000 bus stops in the three boroughs with Bus Time.
Real-time tracking information — which tells users how many stops or miles away a bus is, instead of calculating a countdown estimate — is available online and on phones via app, text message, or scannable QR code at each bus stop.
While Bus Time allows users to track their buses, some council members want real-time information to go one step further and are calling for the city to rewrite its bus shelter contract to include countdown clocks for buses, like those in some subway stations, so riders can get service information without checking their phones.