Cambridge Systematics Inc. and subcontractor OpenPlans Transportation were selected by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to develop the software for MTA Bus Time, a real-time bus customer information system for New York City.
MTA Bus Time will enable bus riders to use smart phones, text messaging or their Web browser to learn how far the next bus is from their stop, saving them time and making bus travel easier. Users also can scan Quick Response (QR) codes on bus stop signs to learn instantly when the next bus will arrive.
The system will launch in Staten Island next January, covering all local and express bus routes, and expand to the rest of New York City by mid-2013, covering 6,000 buses and serving 2.5 million riders.
The MTA Bus Time platform will allow third-party developers to build their own apps using real-time bus data, so travelers may soon be able to choose from dozens of different smart phone apps, tailored for different kinds of riders.
MTA Bus Time is a second collaboration between Cambridge Systematics and New York-based OpenPlans Transportation, who have teamed to deploy an open source transit data warehouse in the Atlanta region.