November 9, 2010

NextBus to equip Central Maryland fleet

NextBus, a division of WebTech Wireless Inc., received a $770,000 three-year contract with Central Maryland Regional Transit (CMRT) to install real-time passenger information system (RTPIS) technology.

As part of the contract, the company will receive fees for service and installation of new hardware on 82 buses, and an additional annual fee in the final two years of the agreement, as service revenue. The contract has an additional two-year option to extend these services.

"This project will truly improve communication to our customers," said Ron Skotz, CMRT's Procurement & Grants coordinator. "Along with the usual predictive devices such as signs on our shelters and at major traffic generators, we will be adding the signature bus stop signs that will allow our customers to call a local phone number and receive information on when the next bus is scheduled to arrive."

Under the contract, NextBus will provide CMRT with a set of hardware and services which include 82 Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) Tracker suites with Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs), 82 bus operator covert alarm units, 51 automatic passenger counting systems, telephone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System and SMS Text Messaging Systems, geo-fencing and automatic alerts, schedule adherence feedback through the MDT and headsign control through the MDT.

NextBus will also use its patented technology to process data obtained from the CMRT fleet to provide real-time, predictive, up-to-the minute information arrival times to users, not just the posted schedule times. Bus arrival information will be available to passengers through telephone IVR System and SMS Text Messaging System at over 1,000 bus stops, and the nextbus.com website.

The company will also provide CMRT fleet managers with a set of monitoring and reporting tools to improve fleet operations and enhance customer service. The CMRT is comprised of Howard Country fixed-route transit service, Howard Country paratransit service, and the Connect-A-Ride Service.

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