Tony Reese, Deputy Chief of the MBTA's Bus Operations Control Center briefs Transportation Secretary James Aloisi on the technological advancements now available to dispatchers.
State Of The Art Technology To Improve On-Time Performance
For several years, the MBTA has been working on an aggressive bus improvement program to address customer concerns and implement necessary upgrades to the bus system. The T’s entire bus fleet of 1,040 vehicles is now equipped with Global Positioning Technology. The MBTA's bus dispatchers have the ability to track buses in real time as they travel through the region, and make public address announcements on each bus to keep customers informed regarding service problems.
Joined by MBTA General Manager at the T’s Operations Control Center, Transportation Secretary Aloisi applauded the recent enhancements to the T’s bus system. “The improvements announced today will help improve service and reliability for thousands who rely on T bus service. Though we face difficult financial times we must keep faith with T riders while at the same time constantly seeking out innovative solutions that make our operations more efficient.”
Over the past few years, the MBTA has invested $18.9m in the Bus Operations Control Center, including consoles, computers and vehicle location equipment. The bus tracking system provides information that allows bus dispatchers to precisely direct first responders to the location of a bus in an emergency situation. The system also shows when buses are not running on time so that an appropriate strategy can be implemented to lessen the impact of delays on customers. In an emergency, the GPS system immediately identifies the location of distress allowing dispatchers to provide precise information to emergency responders.
This past February, the last remaining vehicles of the T’s bus fleet were retrofitted with GPS technology. Pleased with the completion of the Bus Improvement Program, MBTA General Manager said, “We have worked over the past few years to tighten the reigns on our bus fleet, and today every bus is equipped with GPS technology allowing dispatchers to know the exact location of every bus.”
In addition to investments to improve on-time performance, the MBTA continues to take steps to improve security. Presently, 310 buses are equipped with closed circuit cameras to deter crime and assist in police investigations.