Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a business unit of Cubic Corp., was awarded a $1.1 million, five-year contract extension from the University of Maryland (UMD) to upgrade its NextBus® fleet management system.

UMD’s current smart bus fleet features approximately 80 buses with extensive NextBus hardware capabilities, including GPS-based trackers, driver control units, and automatic vehicle location, which informs riders of the place and time of their buses’ arrivals.

Under the contract extension, Cubic will greatly enhance UMD’s smart bus offering by providing university transit staff with features such as automatic passenger counting, automatic voice annunciation, and “turn-by-turn” directions. The new technology will allow UMD’s transit staff to track ridership in real time, through the use of automatic passenger counters, which enables the customer to gather data crucial for optimizing operations and improving services.

Additionally, NextBus’ automatic voice annunciation system will use the buses’ public address system and onboard LED signs to announce upcoming stops, transfer points and custom messages from UMD’s transit staff. Finally, the “turn-by-turn” direction feature will act as the transit operators’ personal guide to help navigate UMD’s multiple shuttle routes and assist in the training process of new and prospective bus operators.

The installation of this new system is expected to begin in February 2017.

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