notaccurate.jpgAn attempt by NYC Transit to communicate accurate bus arrival times has been partially abandoned out of concerns that it just was not feasible to accomplish by the MTA. A pilot program has been in place on six separate bus lines, but those notification services have been scrapped because the digital displays at bus stops were just not capable of providing accurate information to riders. While in the planning for a dozen years, the actual equipment wasn't rolled out until this past October. NYC Transit doesn't know when its notification system could come back online.

The origins of the project reach all the way back to 1996, when a contract was awarded to Orbital Sciences Corp. to install a bus-tracking system. That contract was yanked after four years when the company ran into problems maintaining GPS and wireless signal capability amidst New York City's avenues and streets lined with towering buildings. This was a complaint of cab drivers who didn't want to install GPS devices in their hacks.

The failed experiment has been passed to Siemens, who is being paid just over $13.5 million to jump-start the now dark schedule messaging system, which encompasses the M15, M72, M57, M66, M116 and M31 lines. A total roll-out of the system could result in a contract for $109 million. NYC Transit has been experimenting with real-time notification schedules on the subway's L line. That project's proliferation also seems to be lagging.

I Don't Doubt It, by thelexiphane at flickr