WMATA enhances real-time bus information for customers

Posted: 25 April 2023 | | No comments yet

WMATA’s latest improvements to real-time bus information offers customers with more accurate and clear predictions, alongside ePaper signs and USB charging outlets on-board buses.

WMATA improves services with more trains, buses and simpler fares

Credit: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/ Metro) has announced that it is set to improve the quality of real-time bus information across its network.

Customers can now benefit from faster, clearer and more accurate bus prediction times, thanks to a range of enhancements being rolled out. Among these is the removal of fine print from the busETA app, making it easier to read, while larger and bolder print predictions ensure information can be quickly accessed. Crowding information is also being displayed using icons, while signs now show when a bus is ready to arrive or depart.

In addition, WMATA is exploring the introduction of ‘courtesy stops’ on some routes after dark. The initiative will allow customers to request to be dropped off closer to their destination between bus stops. Other enhancements include ePaper signs displaying customer information, such as the routes that serve a particular stop, next buses arriving and emergency messaging. Lightweight, energy-efficient and easy-to-read interior signs are also being evaluated, featuring text-to-speech translations for visually impaired users.

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“We are making sure our real-time information is easy to read and most importantly that it’s accurate because we understand that every minute counts for our customers,” said Leroy Jones, Senior Vice President of Bus Services at WMATA.

Furthermore, all new buses will be equipped with digital passenger information displays, similar to the ones on the newest railcars. These displays provide information about service changes or other updates that may impact the customer’s trip. In addition, USB outlets will be installed on these buses to enable passengers to charge their mobile devices.

The enhancements are being launched as part of WMATA’s Better Bus Network Redesign, with 50 events in 50 days, where the public can provide feedback on the draft Visionary Network. There will be in-person workshops, community pop-up events, virtual ‘lunch and learns’ and a virtual ‘Experience LAB’ where people can compare their current route with the draft network.