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CTA Using New System To Reduce Bus Bunching

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The CTA has unveiled new technology it hopes will improve the reliability of bus service, and reduce instances of bus bunching.

The new devices already have been installed in about 80 percent of the bus fleet, and officials said, after a three-month trial, it looks promising.

The goal is to reduce instances of multiple buses on the same route arriving at stops at the same time, by allowing drivers to communicate with the CTA control center in real time.

"We might be able to tell a bus in the terminal, 'Hey, we need you to leave a little early, because we've got to have you fill in the gaps, because we've got late buses coming inbound, due to conditions that are outside our control," CTA transit systems support manager Michael Haynes said.


CTA officials said they haven't had much luck reducing bus bunching with the current Bus Tracker system, but hope the new bus management system will improve reliability. The new system utilizes GPS technology already on every CTA bus to track its location in real time.

"We're able to identify a situation where buses may be coming very close together, and we're able to send them a message to tell them to move ahead, or to try to go express," Haynes said.

The new $8.8 million program replaces a 15-year-old communication system, which drivers have complained said doesn't work. Under the old system, drivers had to relay information about traffic conditions through a supervisor driving around in an SUV.

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