Need some confirmation of your information for your transportation (from) Spadina station? The TTC has unveiled today a new next vehicle arrival pilot project at Spadina and Union stations.
The project, which currently includes LED and LCD screens on streetcar platforms at both stations, is testing the system for the 510 streetcar route along Spadina Ave and will be introduced at other stations and shelters in the near future.
The LCD panels display a route map that shows vehicle locations in real time through the already existing GPS technology in the streetcars. Another panel gives the wait times for all incoming vehicles (in this case, just the 510). The system is based on a predictive algorithm, like traffic lights, that collect more and more data over time and become increasingly accurate. TTC Chair Adam Giambrone said at the unveiling that the system is already “pretty accurate”, being less than a minute off, but as it experiences delays in rush hour and at certain stops, it will process the information accordingly.
LED screens are also present at the two stations and will be installed at shelters and stops where they may be exposed to weather, as they are more durable than the LCD panels. The next two LED screens will be installed at College and Dundas streets along the 510 Spadina route. As the 6,000 new transit shelters were recently installed, the TTC has them pre-wired to accomodate these LED screens, so what Gimabrone called “one of the major costs” of the project has already been covered. He proposed that LED screens should be installed at select shelters across the city throughout 2009 and early 2010.
Also launching next fall will be a SMS text feature where commuters can recieve the same real-time information. TTC users will be able to sign up for e-alerts that will keep riders in touch with delays for their selected routes.