TriMet buses now feature internal Automated Stop Announcements

From a TriMet press release today:

Buses with internal Automated Stop Announcements (ASA) are now notifying riders where they are along bus routes on seven TriMet bus lines. ASA ensures people who are hearing or sight impaired and those new to transit are informed of upcoming stops, by providing both internal readerboard and voice announcements of major stops along a bus route.

The internal announcements also include information about other transit connections available at stops along the route. External announcements, which were introduced and tested last year, announce which bus line is serving the stop when there are multiple bus lines involved.

(More after the break…)
“Automated Stop Announcements provide greater independence for riders with disabilities as well as be a valuable tool for all riders,” said Fred Hansen, TriMet general manager.” ASA reduces uncertainty over what stop is next and decreases anxiety over missing a stop.”

The system is now being tested on seven lines:

  • 6-Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
  • 14-Hawthorne
  • 54-Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy/56-Scholls Ferry Rd
  • 57-TV Hwy/Forest Grove
  • 72-Killingsworth/82nd Ave
  • 75-39th Ave/Lombard
  • 79-Clackamas Town Center

Next steps

By the end of May, these bus lines will be added:

  • 12-Barbur Blvd
  • 12-Sandy Blvd
  • 15-Belmont
  • 15-NW 23rd Ave
  • 20-Burnside/Stark

By the end of 2008, all of the bus routes served by TriMet’s approximately 360 low-floor buses will have the announcements activated.

The system is similar to MAX, which has always had internal and external automated stop announcements. Bringing ASA to buses, however, required considerably more technology than the train announcements. On buses, ASA had to be coordinated with the Bus Dispatch System, using Global Positioning System (GPS). The GPS system and bus odometer let the bus dispatch system know where a bus is on the route and trigger automated announcements as the bus progresses.

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