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Real-Time Arrival Information Is Coming To Metro Bus Stops

Yo where's the bus. (Photo by Malingering via the Creative Commons)
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Soon there'll be less squinting and staring down the street while you wonder where on earth your bus might be.On Thursday, Metro announced that 300 signs displaying real-time arrival information and alerts will be coming to the busiest bus shelters in the county. The new displays will feature audio for visually-impaired riders, and around a third of the signs will be solar-powered.

"Not knowing if or when your bus is coming can be very stressful, so these electronic signs will remove a barrier for new riders and deliver peace of mind to the millions of our neighbors who rely on Metro buses," said Syncromatics CEO Ian Sephton in a release. The company was awarded a $4 million contract from Metro to install the signs.

"Live bus arrival times and service alerts remain out of reach for the 62% of Metro [riders] who don't own smartphones," said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who sits on Metro's board. For those that do have a smartphone, there are a variety of apps that provide real-time arrivals, such as the excellent Transit App.

As anyone who has taken public transportation anywhere knows, it's standing and waiting at the stop that's more aggravating than the amount of time you spend on the bus. These signs should help riders feel better about the wait. "It makes a lot of sense to make the time they spend waiting as comfortable as safe and as certain as possible," UCLA urban planning professor Brian Taylor told KPCC.

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According to Metro, the rollout of these signs should be completed by 2018.