Three. Two. One. Zero. Your bus has arrived.
Four bus stops in the Bronx were upgraded with Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) countdown clocks. The corners of East Kingsbridge Road and Grand Concourse; University Avenue and West Tremont Avenue; University and West Burnside avenues; and East Burnside and Jerome avenues are the first in the Bronx to get such clocks.
Councilman Fernando Cabrera announced June 26 that the clocks were being installed.
“Now, our communities will have the technology tools they need to make public transit easier to use,” Cabrera, who allocated funding for the clocks, said in a statement.
The digital clocks, hoisted at bus stop posts, use the same GPS tracking system as the MTA’s Bus Time feature that’s only available online. However, Bus Time was criticized for excluding commuters who either are not tech-savvy or do not own smartphones.
“I don’t like cell phones,” said Myrtle Thorpe. Thorpe, 75, is retired, but takes the bus if she needs to do some shopping. She has never used MTA Bus Time, but found the new countdown clock on East Kingsbridge Road and Grand Concourse to be helpful.
“If you have to take the bus on a regular schedule,” she said, “you should know what time the bus is coming, so you can leave home accordingly.”
The countdown clocks, which are also equipped with an audio feature for the visually impaired, serve the Bx3, Bx22, Bx28, Bx36, Bx40 and Bx42 lines.
“I think it will help if it is going to be accurate,” said Elizabeth Tawih. Tawih, 27, takes the Bx42 bus to go to work. She recalled seeing the countdown clock read one minute until her bus should have arrived only for it to change to two minutes after it read zero. “I liked my phone better.”