Feb 25, 2007

Smart buses hit the road in Mississauga

In Mississauga and elsewhere it's called the SmartBus program . It's the next generation of bus information systems. Using a new, integrated, multi-function computer and communications system, smart buses have on board capabilities that monitor and report on the operational and maintenance status of the bus, as well as its current location and schedule. Bus trips will be kept on time using an enhanced traffic signal priority system that engages only when needed to maintain schedules. There's also an automatic vehicle locating (AVL) system in the bus that will let personal at a central location keep track of the bus.

Experience with smart buses also indicates they can be expected to produce substantial cost-savings in areas such as labor required for inspections, maintenance and systems programming, as well as to reduce costs due to more pro-active preventive maintenance. Funding for the project was provided by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Green Fund.

Transit agencies often incorporate AVL with other operational functions such as computer aided dispatch, mobile data terminals and emergency alarms. Increasingly, transit agencies are also using AVL for services that directly benefit riders such as...

  • Real-time passenger information
  • Automatic passenger counters
  • Automated fare payment systems

Other components that may be integrated with AVL systems include

  • Automatic stop announcements
  • Automated destination signs
  • Vehicle component monitoring
  • Traffic signal priority

No comments: