When is the next bus due? Hi-tech signs give answer
REAL-time information screens will be operational at Dublin Bus stops by the middle of next month, it has been revealed.
Up to 450 signs will be erected at the city's busiest bus stops, and real-time information on the remaining stops will be available for passengers online.
The new screens will mean that passengers will now be informed on the expected arrival times of their next buses, similar to the Dart and Luas information screens.
Each bus stop will have a four digit "identifier number", which city commuters will be able to search online to check for the next available bus.
Poles for the signs are being erected across the city, and the pilot began last March when tender contracts were awarded.
A spokesperson for the National Transport Authority (NTA) said: "We'll be doing live, dynamic tests by mid-February, and as we're testing we're learning. "It's going to be live, and as far as the commuters are concerned, it will be running.
"The stops that have been chosen are because they're the busiest or there's a lot of interchange with other buses, or it meets a destination or a sporting facility."
The project has been delayed since it was announced early last year that it would be operational by Christmas, with the cold snap blamed.
The NTA spokesperson explained: "It's like every new piece of technology.
"The testing stage is critical and it will be rigorous, and we didn't want to launch into something that wasn't right. The whole December period was a bit of a wipe-out as well.
"It's being tested and piloted all over the system, and where the signs will first be switched on hasn't been decided yet.
"But we'll roll it out very quickly so that it covers the whole city."
Meanwhile, Dublin Bus is in the process of rolling out an automatic vehicle location system (AVLS) on its bus fleet, in tandem with the screens.
The AVLC system operates like a GPS system, and the technology is fitted in Dublin Bus vehicles and this feeds data back to the centralised control centre at Dublin Bus.
A spokesperson explained: "It is operating on all bus routes based in five of our depots. Routes from the remaining two depots will be operational by the end of the first quarter of the year."