Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) is launching a talking buses pilot, enabling customers to now hear their bus pull up to their stop and announce to them where it’s going.
The TTC’s External Route Announcement trial will run until the end of 2015. The external announcements, heard from outside the bus through a speaker near the front door, are designed to assist customers with visual impairments to more clearly determine whether or not to board the bus that has just arrived at their stop. The bus automatically identifies itself by broadcasting its destination when the front door opens.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires transit agencies in the province to equip their buses, by 2017, with electronic systems that externally announce route, direction, destination or next major stop information as a pre-boarding announcement to riders waiting at stops.
The TTC’s new accessible streetcars already provide external announcements. The Toronto Rocket subway trains are scheduled to be retrofitted with external speakers by the second quarter of 2016.