TTC Launches GPS Tracking Service for Buses

TTC started a new service this week that allows passengers to know in real-time when the next bus arrives.

The service,called the Next Vehicle Arrival System,uses GPS to track the location of buses. Over 10,100 bus stops in the GTA are already connected to this system,according to the TTC website.

The service is an extension of the system that has already been in operation for streetcars and subways since 2009.

“The whole system is designed to provide customers,via screens and smart phones,an ability to get information on when their next vehicles arrive. It’s pretty accurate,”says Mike DeToma,a spokesperson with TTC.

The information can be accessed free of charge online through NextBus.com. Smartphone apps for the service created by third parties can be downloaded for a one-time fee.

Users can also text a stop number to 898882 (TXTTTC) to get bus arrival information. The texting service is free at this point,but DeToma explains that TTC is still consulting with the public on this issue and will revisit it later in September. He stresses that users should also check with their cell phone providers as to what charges they apply.

A few stations in the city,including street shelters at Bathurst/Adelaide and Queen/Spadina,have also been equipped with screens displaying arrival information.

Betty Foo,a frequent TTC rider,says this system may come in handy for her especially at night,when “busses are not as frequent.”

Another long time TTC passenger,Owen Blake,says he often arrives at a station to transfer just when the bus drives away. The new service will help him have “better time management,”he says.

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