NJ Transit Pilot Program Offers Real-Time Info For Bus Customers

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A NJ Transit bus (Photo credit: Adam E. Moreira)

A NJ Transit bus (Photo credit: Adam E. Moreira)

NEWARK — NJ Transit today announced the launch of MyBus Now, the agency’s first real-time service information system for bus customers, which will kick off Dec. 13 as a pilot program on 16 Mercer County-area bus routes.

“The launch of the MyBus Now pilot program marks an important step toward systemwide implementation of this vital customer information tool,” said NJ Transit Executive Director James Weinstein. “With access to real-time bus location and arrival information literally at their fingertips, bus customers will be able to make informed decisions about their travel, even while on the go.”

MyBus Now will use “smart bus” technology to provide customers with access to real-time bus arrival estimates to a specific bus stop within a 30-minute window. Customers will be able to access the information in three ways: from a desktop computer through njtransit.com, from a web-enabled smartphone through the mobile version of njtransit.com, and via SMS-text messaging directly to their cell phones.

Starting Thursday, Dec. 13, customers of bus routes that operate out of NJ Transit’s Hamilton Garage will be able to use MyBus Now to access real-time service information. The 16 bus routes, which serve communities in Mercer County and parts of Somerset and Middlesex counties, include:

  • No. 600 Trenton-Plainsboro (U.S. 1 Corridor)
  • No. 601 The College of New Jersey-Trenton-Hamilton Marketplace
  • No. 602 Pennington-Trenton
  • No. 603 Mercer Mall-Hamilton Square-Yardville-Hamilton Marketplace
  • No. 604 East Trenton-Trenton Transit Center
  • No. 605 Montgomery Township-Princeton-Quaker Bridge Mall
  • No. 606 Princeton-Mercerville-Hamilton Marketplace
  • No. 607 Ewing-Trenton-Independence Plaza
  • No. 608 Hamilton-West Trenton
  • No. 609 Ewing-Quaker Bridge Mall
  • No. 610 Trenton-Princeton Seasonal Service
  • No. 611 Trenton-River View Plaza Circulator
  • No. 612 Lawrence-West Windsor
  • No. 613 Mercer Mall-Hamilton Square-Yardville-Hamilton Marketplace
  • No. 619 Ewing-Quaker Bridge Mall-Mercer County College
  • No. 655 Princeton-Plainsboro

NJ Transit selected Hamilton Garage for the pilot program because the relatively small size of its operations and the fact that none of its bus routes intersect with other garages provide an ideal testing environment. The pilot will enable NJ Transit to address any issues with the system prior to a full systemwide rollout in spring 2013.

NJ Transit is currently taking delivery of 1,145 new buses that are already equipped with smart bus technology provided by Clever Devices LTD. In addition, NJ Transit has procured additional smart bus platforms to retrofit the remaining buses in the agency’s fleet, including those on routes operated by private carriers under contract to NJ Transit.

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 data provided through this technology will allow for greater efficiency in terms of scheduling, planning and maintenance of the NJ Transit bus network, officials said.

MyBus Now builds on NJ Transit’s “MyBus” system, which launched in October 2010. Based on a system of bus stop ID numbers—unique five-digit numbers NJ Transit has assigned to each of its bus routes—MyBus enables customers who have cell phones with SMS (text messaging) capabilities to receive bus schedule information for a specific stop directly to their cell phones. Customers can obtain their bus stop ID online at njtransit.com, or from MyBus signs posted at bus stops statewide.

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