MMS Friends

Friday, March 11, 2005

METRO adds hi-tech upgrades to bus fleet

Our beloved hometown transit authority is installing cutting-edge bells and whistles to its buses:
The system announces the location of the next bus stop to passengers on the bus, which is expected to improve customer service, particularly for those with visual impairments. The automated bus annunciation system is part of METRO's $26 million Integrated Vehicle Operations Management System, which is expected to be fully operational by the summer. Other components of the IVOMS project include automated vehicle location and tracking, which allows dispatchers to determine and monitor the exact location of any bus; and automatic passenger counters, which utilize infrared beams at bus entrances/exits to produce more accurate ridership data.
Automated vehicle location? Cool! Maybe they'll put it on the internet, so we can track how many METRO buses are stalled on HOV lanes at any given time. And I wonder why they're not adding auto-count features to the light rail? Maybe because then we'd know how low ridership has been. By the way, the next time you're stuck at a red light, it just might be because METRO buses stole your green light:
Transit Signal Priority systems will be installed on 1,072 vehicles and utilized at approximately 1,250 intersections.
So much for the mayor's vaunted light synchronization plan.

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