View Single Post
  #1   Report Post  
Old May 16th 05, 11:09 PM posted to
Dave Arquati Dave Arquati is offline
external usenet poster
First recorded activity at LondonBanter: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,158
Default Countdown overhaul

Don't worry, Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman are staying put.
Siemens have been awarded a contract to overhaul London Buses' Countdown
system, replacing the current AVL beacon-based technology with something
based around GPS; there will be enhanced real-time information available
via the internet and mobile phones too. Funny, because this is what we
were talking about in another thread.


London Buses is to spend 116m on a new vehicle tracking and passenger
information system that will replace its ageing 'countdown' electronic
timetable service at bus stops in the capital.

The system aims to improve the tracking of London's rapidly expanding
fleet of buses and provide more accurate information telling passengers
when their next ride is due.

The contract for the new system has been awarded to Siemens following an
18-month procurement process by Transport for London (TfL).

The new bus radio, vehicle location and countdown system will be
introduced by 2008 as part of TfL's 10bn five-year investment programme
to modernise London's public transport system.

The existing countdown system was introduced in 1996 and uses a
microwave-based network of 5,000 roadside and on-bus beacons to track
the location of buses on route. This information is relayed to
electronic displays at bus stops, which tell waiting passengers how many
minutes before the next bus is due.

But that is complex and costly to maintain - and often inaccurate
according to many frustrated bus passengers - and TfL has decided to opt
for a GPS-based system to cope with the expansion of the London Bus
fleet to 10,000 over the next few years.

New services to be covered by the Siemens contract include an overhaul
of the information provided on the countdown signs at stops as well as
real-time bus information for internet, phone and text users.

Both Siemens and TfL failed to respond to requests for comment.

Dave Arquati
Imperial College, SW7 - Transport projects in London