Its been a long time coming but…
Digital displays in Plymouth’s bus shelters are to get an upgrade, meaning more reliable and accurate information for passengers. We’re currently tendering for a new system that will deliver improvements to our 85 ‘real time’ screens, which show information about the next services due at bus stops. We plan to move from 2G mobile phone technology to 3G or better, which will speed up communication between buses and displays. This should improve the accuracy of wait times shown and reduce problems with buses failing to appear on the displays because of lost data connection.
Other planned improvements include remote monitoring of the displays, so that any faults can be detected and repaired more quickly and passengers experience fewer issues with missing information or blank screens. A more flexible system will also allow important service messages to be shown at short notice – for example details of any route or timetable changes resulting from adverse weather, emergency roadworks or other unexpected problems. And it is hoped all bus services will be included on the displays – not just those operated by Plymouth Citybus and Stagecoach.
The displays will be turned off for a few months while the current system is replaced and passengers will be advised to use the printed timetables available at all stops. Screens at the new coach station will remain on but will also be upgraded through the new contract.
Councillor Steve Ricketts, Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery, said: “We need bus travel to be a convenient and reliable travel option as Plymouth continues to grow and investing in technology like real time displays is really important to passengers. By moving to a new, more responsive system we will be able to deliver improvements that will really make a difference to people travelling around Plymouth by bus.”
Plymouth City Council
We have been here a few times before with promise of decent real time displays at bus stops and yet each time, so far, its all been a bit of a let down. Hopefully this time it will all work and all buses will display true real time information. It cant be that difficult to achieve these days can it?