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NJ TRANSIT EXPANDS DRIVE TOWARD REAL-TIME SERVICE INFORMATION FOR BUS CUSTOMERS
Contracted bus routes to also be equipped with “smart bus” technology
November 9, 2011
NEWARK, NJ — The NJ TRANSIT Board of Directors today approved a contract amendment that will expand the agency’s drive toward real-time service information for bus customers by equipping contracted local bus routes, which serve more than 46,000 customer trips on a typical weekday throughout the state, with smart bus technology.
The contract amendment also leverages the current Smart Bus implementation to deploy additional enhanced features, equipment and software during the initial installation process that will enable NJ TRANSIT to expedite the implementation of Smart Bus technology statewide and to do so more cost effectively.
“The use of smart bus technology will enable NJ TRANSIT Bus Operations to improve the quality and reliability of service while reducing operating costs, while also providing vital service information to customers,” said Transportation Commissioner and NJ TRANSIT Board Chairman James Simpson. “Expanding this technology to include routes operated under contract to NJ TRANSIT makes sense, because Smart Bus will act as the central nervous system for New Jersey’s buses, transmitting critical data pertaining to ridership, vehicle condition, bus location and more, which will allow for greater efficiency in terms of scheduling, planning and maintenance.”
“By equipping both the entire NJ TRANSIT bus fleet and our contracted local routes with smart bus technology, we are laying the foundation for providing real-time bus service information to all of our customers throughout the system,” said NJ TRANSIT Executive Director James Weinstein. “Smart bus technology will drive improvements like ‘Next Bus’ signage at key locations and new customer information tools on the web, such as maps that display graphic representations of buses as they move across the system.”
The Board authorized a $6 million contract amendment today with Clever Devices LTD of Plainview, NY, for additional hardware, software and services related to Smart Bus implementation, building on the $22 million contract previously authorized by the Board in February 2011 for the installation of smart bus equipment on approximately 1,040 transit, cruiser and articulated buses.
The Clever Devices platform offers many operational and customer benefits, including automatic bus stop announcements, vehicle condition monitoring, passenger counting, and real-time location reporting. The technology, together with an upcoming procurement for a new radio system, will ultimately enable NJ TRANSIT to deliver real-time bus location and arrival information to any web-enabled device, letting customers know when their bus is expected to arrive at their stop.
Included among the additional features provided through the contract amendment is the ability for buses to make external announcements to alert pedestrians of buses turning at intersections, which will greatly enhance safety.
NJ TRANSIT is currently taking delivery of 1,145 new buses that are already equipped with smart bus technology provided by Clever Devices. The procurement of additional smart bus platforms for the remaining buses, along with the contract amendment for contracted bus routes, will enable NJ TRANSIT’s entire bus fleet to be equipped with this technology.
The installation of smart bus platforms is expected to be completed in two phases by the end of 2012, while delivery of the remainder of NJ TRANSIT’s new smart buses is expected to be completed in 2013.
About NJ TRANSIT
NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes, three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 164 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 18,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.