Digital 'bus countdown' tech has been on some London bus routes for a while now — and very popular it is too. Now TfL is trialling more advanced tech, for a new generation of bus stop.
Bus shelters on the 63 route between King's Cross and Honor Oak have been pimped up with full-colour screens showing up-to-the-second bus arrival information and a variety of other live mapping and travel information including disruptions and diversions. Passengers can view every stop along their chosen route, and in the future, will even be able to see how busy it is on board scheduled buses — handy if you're not in a rush, and don't fancy squishing up next to someone else.
On bus poles themselves, familiar bus timetables have been digitised, allowing passengers to view live bus arrival times, digital timetables and route maps. Audio announcements can be heard at the push of a button, for those who are visually impaired.
The announcement from TfL comes as it also introduces 300 new 'bus countdown' signs across the capital in areas including Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Hillingdon and Barking & Dagenham between now and the end of 2023. Currently, there are around 2,500 countdown signs in the capital.
This is an exciting time for London bus technology, what with the mass electrification of the fleets — as part of a Bus Action Plan, which aims to make the network zero carbon by 2030 — and new models being introduced, including a tram-bus touted for later in 2023.
Last year, it was announced that 16 London buses routes could face the axe, although it was later reported only three will be cut.