Bus passenger information system under development

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Bus passenger information system under development

Eric Doyle
A new system being developed for West Midlands bus company Centro should save passengers the irritation of standing at bus stops not knowing when the next bus will arrive.

Marconi Transportation and Mott MacDonald have joined forces to produce a travel information system after a £2m government grant was awarded to Centro and Travel West Midlands.

The system will provide Centro's passengers with up-to-the-minute information on the bus service. Steve Harris, director of transportation for Marconi, said that the system will be based on tried and tested technologies.

The core of the system is a global positioning system module that will be fitted to 300 buses. These will beam the locations of the buses to a control centre where factors such as traffic and weather conditions will be factored in to give estimated arrival times for the stops along the various bus routes.

From the control centre the updated times will be distributed to signs built into 300 new bus shelters. It will also be beamed to kiosks in shopping centres, hospitals and other public access buildings. At home, customers will be able to plan their journey from Web site information or receive updates via mobile phone SMS messages or Wap screens.

"This will mean that shoppers can stop for a coffee or wait for the bus at night in a safe haven, rather than stand at the stop," Harris said.

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