Customers have asked for newer technology to help them track bus arrival times. It’s here. When Proposition A passed, Metro promised to use those funds to build a better transit experience. We are happy to report the first phase of technology advances to keep our MetroBus customers better informed about MetroBus arrivals is now live on our website.
Here’s how it works. Go to our website. Look for the Plan Your Trip area near the top right of your screen and select Metro Trip Planner. Then you have two choices.
- Use the left side of the screen to use trip planner the way you always have, or
- Use the map to click on your departure location. A box will appear and allow you to click on “Find nearby stops.” From there you can:
- Click on the yellow or blue circle where you want to catch the bus. Yellow circles show “time points.” Operators do not leave early from a time point. The blue circle shows a regular bus stop. Please remember to arrive at your stop at least five minutes early. Depending on traffic conditions, a bus may arrive and leave early from a bus stop that is not a time point. After you have selected your preferred stop:
- Click on “Get next departures.” Included in the information box is the route, the direction (Dir), scheduled arrival time (Sch) and estimated arrival time (Est) if the estimated arrival time is available.
- The majority of our MetroBus vehicles are now equipped with automatic vehicle location devices (AVL) and that allows us to track where the buses are at all times. Eventually, AVLs will be installed on every vehicle in our MetroBus fleet. If the MetroBus vehicle that is headed to your stop is AVL equipped, the Estimated Arrival column will show a time. When you compare Scheduled Time (Sch) to the Estimated time (Est) you will know if the bus is running early, on time or behind schedule.
- If the MetroBus does not yet have AVL, then the Estimated Arrival column will display ‘N/A’ for “not available.”
We are really excited to be able to bring this new technology to our customers, but we won’t stop there. In the next year, we hope to roll out the smart phone application. That will mean you can stand at your bus stop, punch in the stop number on your smart phone and find out when to expect your bus.
Enjoy the ride, and thanks for taking Metro!