CTA aims to prevent bus bunching with new technology

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CHICAGO -- The CTA has announced new technology that it says will help prevent bus bunching.

People hate bus bunching: when you’re waiting at a stop for 10 minutes, no bus. 15 minutes, no bus. Then all of a sudden, two buses pull up at the same time.

Well the CTA says it has new technology to try and provide more consistent service.

The CTA is installing touch screen monitors on every one of its roughly 1,800 buses. If a driver sees a crash, gets slowed down by construction or breaks down, they can inform the CTA command center immediately.

In turn the command center can also monitor each bus route in real-time. It can hover over a bus to get an estimate of how many people are inside, and also monitor routes to see if there’s an incident nearby that could cause bunching or delays in service.

Dispatchers can use that information to alert drivers and provide reroutes or work to better space out the buses.

CTA started testing the new system on nine of its busiest south side routes in January, and has seen a 40-percent reduction in big gaps of service.

Federal funding paid for the $8.8 million system. By late summer, all of CTA’s buses will be equipped with the technology.

The CTA says it is also continuing to enhance its bus and train tracker service to improve reliability -- and  along the lines of new technology, big news for train riders who use the subway: By the end of the year, you’ll have 4G service.

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