Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ride On Installs Real Time Signs and Maps at Nine Bus Shelters

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s (MCDOT) Ride On bus system has installed real time signs in nine Ride On bus shelters that are similar to transit screens installed earlier this year in the Executive Office Building and the Council Office Building. The signs display customized information showing when the next Ride On and Metro buses will arrive at that location. A unique feature of the signs is a real time map that allows riders to trace their bus’s progress. In addition, the signs continually scroll Ride On’s Facebook and Twitter feeds.

“Expanding the availability of real time travel information is another way that MCDOT is encouraging people to try transit,” said MCDOT Acting Director Al Roshdieh. “MCDOT is innovating with new technology to use our “big data” so that taking Ride On is even easier and more convenient. By providing more information about the available options to driving alone, we’re enhancing our community’s mobility and quality of life.”

In-house Ride On staff created the programming and graphics to make better use of the “big data” it collects on its bus system. Ride On plans to make its data more accessible to the public to enhance their traveling experience and get them the information they need to make taking transit more predictable. Ride On is using beam technology to count passenger boardings and exits at each stop and GPS to track bus locations in real time.

The data feeding the new bus stop signs is accurate to within about one to two minutes. This accuracy will improve in the future if plans to switch from a radio wave based system to a cellular system are realized.

Sign at Powder Mill Road and New Hampshire Avenue. Scroll at top is Ride On Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Ride On selected bus shelters with high ridership and distributed the signs around the County. The locations of the signs and the bus routes serving each one are:

Ride On & Metro Bus Routes
1.      Observation Drive at Montgomery College, Southbound             55
2.      Monroe Street at Monroe Place, Westbound                                44,46,47,54,56,63
3.      Bel Pre Road at Grand Pre Road, Eastbound                                34,41,49, L8
4.      Stewart Lane at Old Columbia Pike, Southbound                        10, Z's
5.      Rockledge Drive at Democracy Blvd, Eastbound                        47,96, J's
6.      Clubhouse at Montgomery Village Ave, Southbound                 59, 60, 64, 65
7.      Rockville Pike at Edson Lane, Southbound                                 5,46, J5
8.      Clopper Rd at Mateny Rd, Eastbound                                          61,71, 78
9.      Powder Mill Rd at New Hampshire Ave., Eastbound                 10,20, 22,24

A tenth sign will be installed on Muncaster Mill Road at northbound Woodfield Road.

The signs were funded using a State grant from the Maryland Transit Administration.

More information about Ride On is available online.